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News Date: Tuesday 30th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Retail PC sales slowing despite price cuts
    Time: 05:50 EDT/10:50 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Retail shipments of personal computers rose 21 percent in October from a year earlier, one of the smallest increases this year as retailers offered fewer promotions, a research firm said.

    Revenue fell 9.7 percent for the month as the average price for PCs sold dropped to $800, down 25 percent from October 1998, according to PC Data of Reston, Virginia.

    "It was a slow month," PC Data analyst Stephen Baker said. "Some of the sales that normally would have happened in October were pulled into September by all the promotions."

    The higher retail shipments combined with lower revenue and prices fit a pattern that has persisted for most of the year, as PC makers churn out more machines that sell for less than $1,000.

     
  • Don't Phone to Ring in New Year
    Time: 05:29 EDT/10:29 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Telephone companies around the world want their customers to make just one New Year's resolution this year: don't rush to pick up the phone when the clock strikes midnight.

    Telephone companies expect New Year calling volumes to rise by 15 percent to 50 percent above normal levels, which will be a far greater threat to telephone networks than what experts characterize as hyperbolic Y2K doomsday predictions of system failures, blackouts and total isolation.

    ``There won't be significant outages. The biggest fear I have is a lot of the general public is going to pick up the phone just to see if they have a dial tone and call friends. That will be a volume burden. It's probably the biggest threat of all,'' said Lou Marcoccio, research director for the Gartner Group, a U.S. business technology consulting firm.

    However, some rural areas of the United States and developing countries may face problems ranging from short-term outages to busy signals to billing errors, experts said.

     
  • Dell to Offer New Webpc Line of Consumer PCs
    Time: 05:24 EDT/10:24 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Dell Computer Corp., the world's No. 2 personal computer maker, said it will unveil on Tuesday a new generation of small and stylish Intel-based consumer desktop PCs that do away with the austere functionalism of traditional PCs.

    Dell's long-anticipated Webpc, as the new computers are known, take up roughly one third the desktop space of a typical pizza-box shaped PC and come in at least five designer colors, echoing a strategy pioneered by Apple Computer Inc.

    Prices start at $1,000 for a complete package that includes a computer running an Intel Celeron 433 megahertz chip, a standard 15-inch monitor with built-in speakers, a printer and one year of the company's Dellnet Internet access service.

    The Webpc introduction, timed to coincide with the holiday PC shopping rush, positions Dell to meet rising demand for an emerging category of color-coordinated, industrially designed PCs that fit the decor of rooms other than the home office.


News Date: Monday 29th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • AOL give privacy an expiration date
    Time: 17:43 EDT/22:43 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    An America Online policy is again putting privacy issues on the front burner. The nation's leading access provider recently started sending e-mails to customers informing them that the privacy preferences they signed up for a year ago - the ones telling the company not to collect or distribute information about their accounts or online habits - have "expired."

    AOL (NYSE:AOL) said that if subscribers want their preferences to remain in place, they must again fill out what is known as an "opt out" form. If they do nothing, information about their accounts and Web habits may be distributed to marketers and other interested parties.

    The preferences' one-year life span is part of a much-publicized privacy policy that AOL put in place a year ago, said Andrew Weinstein, a spokesman at AOL. He defended the policy, saying that the company explained "to consumers in detail exactly how [the preferences] will work. They work on a one-year basis. If they want to receive materials after that, they are given the ability to do that."

    But privacy advocates evaluate the new policy differently. They said most AOL users are surprised to learn they have to redo their opt-out preferences.

     
  • Emachines, Free-PC to merge
    Time: 17:37 EDT/22:37 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The "free" PC, one of the hot consumer items of 1999, appears to be going away fast.

    Inexpensive PC maker Emachines will merge with Free-PC, the company that kicked off the "free" PC craze earlier this year by giving away computers with complementary Internet service. The acquisition will delay Emachines' initial public offering until the first quarter, said Steve Dukker, CEO of Emachines and the executive who will oversee the combined companies.

    With the merger, Free-PC's computer offers will end. Free-PC had been giving away Compaq PCs and subsidizing the cost through advertising and e-commerce deals.

    Those offers are no more, Dukker said. Instead, Emachines will take Free-PC's advertising and e-commerce deals and incorporate them into the Emachines platform. This could easily lead to lower prices on Emachines PCs, but they won't be free.

     
  • Internet Labels Lose Meaning in Rush for Popular Addresses
    Time: 04:54 EDT/09:54 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    It used to be that you could tell a lot about a Web site just by looking at the letters after the "dot" in its address. But as competition for prime Internet addresses intensifies, the most popular dot suffixes for domain names -- .com, .net and .org -- are losing the meanings they once had.

    Originally, .com was designated for businesses, while .net was for groups or companies involved in network access to the Internet and .org was associated with nonprofit organizations. But not anymore.

    "Since about two or three years ago, there is no distinction between .com, .net and .org," said Christopher Clough, a spokesman for Network Solutions, the largest Internet name registrar. "It's all up to the registrant and self-selection."

    And now that the business of registering names has been opened to competition, other registrars are all too happy to ignore the longstanding informal rules to keep customers satisfied.

     
  • The Net goes guerilla
    Time: 04:44 EDT/09:44 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Internet companies are doing everything they can to stand out from the crowd, including advertising on boxer Evander Holyfield's trunks.

    The millions of Americans who watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade Thursday might have been scratching their heads about a 16-foot-tall sculpture of an impeccably dressed bald man sitting amidst piles of books and surrounded by questions about Thanksgiving.

    Who was that bald man? The Ask Jeeves (Nasdaq: ASKJ) butler, of course.

    While Jeeves isn't exactly as well-known as, say, his float-mate Snoopy, the company hopes the parade, broadcast nationally, will help change that. And while it may seem a bit unusual for an Internet startup to be featured in a parade, the float symbolizes what some "dotcoms" will do to get noticed.

     
  • Feds May Opt-In On Privacy Rules
    Time: 04:37 EDT/09:37 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Government may soon opt-in for privacy standards while industry is seeking to opt-out, an online advertising executive said this week.

    Dave Morgan, the president and chief executive officer of Real Media, a New York City-based company that distributes ads over a network of websites, said he thinks the federal government will step in to regulate companies that use the Internet to collect consumer data to build profiles for advertising and marketing.

    Real Media is a member of the Network Advertising Initiative, a group of companies that have agreed on a regulatory code for such activity. The companies include DoubleClick, 24/7 Media, Flycast Communications, AdForce, AdKnowledge, Adsmart and Engage Technologies.


News Date: Monday 22nd November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • InfoSpace Eyes Collaboration with eComLive Buy
    Time: 5:54 EDT/10:54 GMT News Source: InternetNews Posted By: Robert Stein

    InfoSpace Monday purchased eCom Live, a provider of Web-based collaboration and interaction software designed for electronic commerce and other vertical applications. eCom Live's software allows users to share data, conduct audio and video conferencing and jointly work on applications and documents using a standard Web browser.

     
  • Priceline Brings Mortgage Center to New York
    Time: 5:54 EDT/10:54 GMT News Source: InternetNews Posted By: Robert Stein

    PricelineMortgage is now available to homebuyers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Developed with First Alliance Bank, the service is designed to allow customers to name their own interest rates and cut closing costs. Alliance Mortgage is an approved Fannie Mae seller, and will provide Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter automated underwriting system. PricelineMortgage handles first mortgage loan requests of up to $240,000.


News Date: Friday 19th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • FCC orders local telecom firms to share lines with data carriers
    Time: 10:28 EDT/15:28 GMT News Source: MSNBC Posted By: Matt Sabean

    In a landmark decision for Web users, the Federal Communications Commission gave a big boost to high-speed Internet connections Thursday by voting to require major local phone companies to share their lines with data carriers. The move is expected to bring wider high-speed access at lower prices. But local phone companies warn that it could also end up clogging voice lines and adding static to their customer’s conversations.

    The FCC’s decision is designed to make it cheaper for a host of smaller, upstart businesses to compete with Baby Bell telephone companies in the race to offer Web connections that are dozens of times faster than conventional dial-up modems. But the decision sidestepped a critical question in the white hot battle for DSL market share: just how much will phone companies get to charge for access to their lines.

    The FCC’s ruling requires the local phone companies — some of which are offering their own high-speed services — to let these DSL (digital subscriber line) providers share lines that are already carrying basic voice connections. Current rules require data carriers like NorthPoint Communications Group Inc., Covad Communications Group Inc. and Rhythms Net Connections Inc. to provide service over a separate line.

    The decision was a major win for the DSL upstarts, who stand to see their costs reduced and demand for the service explode. Widespread anticipation of Thursday’s decision has sent the stocks of these companies surging in the last month.

     
  • Voter Ed for Online Profit
    Time: 10:18 EDT/15:18 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matt Sabean

    With the New Hampshire primary just around the corner, the dot-com mania has found a new target: the American voter.

    Helping Americans fulfill their civic duty used to be the exclusive preserve of shiny-eyed idealists, but voter education has become big business.

    In recent weeks, there’s been an explosion in the number of sites offering "unfiltered" information on campaigns and candidates for potential voters. And many of them plan to make money doing it.

    "People are looking at the Internet and seeing dollar signs. There is the push to create niches," said Mike McGill, media director at FreedomChannel.com, a nonprofit site that allows voters to view unedited clips of candidates speaking on various issues.

     
  • Phone.com faces stiff competition over cell phone space
    Time: 08:36 EDT/13:36 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    A new browser war is shaping up, with combatants this time aiming for control of the tiny screens on Web-ready mobile phones.

    The real estate now belongs almost exclusively to a company called Phone.com, the leading producer of the Web browsers and servers that stream news headlines and email to mobile phones. But as the market begins to grow, other players--from Microsoft to the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturers--are aiming to knock Phone.com from the lead.

    The wireless data market is still in its infancy. Most of the major mobile carriers in the United States are just beginning to offer cellular Web services, trailing European carriers. The market potential is huge, however, as worldwide more people own cell phones than PCs. By 2003, industry analysts expect there will be more than 1 billion mobile phones in use across the globe.

    Web phone surfing surely won't supplant PC use, analysts say. But the opportunity to read quick news headlines, get sports scores, check train schedules or buy tickets is attractive to consumers, and services should increase as wireless download speeds get faster.

     
  • Community Updates
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

    So please don't hesitate to join our community--we would love to have you! We are currently the largest Windows site on the MSN community list.

    We have an upcoming chat taking place on Saturday November 27th at 7pm EST 12pm GMT, we will all be there.

     
  • eMachines: Expect appliances from us
    Time: 04:54 EDT/09:54 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The maker of super-cheap PCs is also planning to jump into the market for even cheaper, special purpose Net-enabled devices.

    eMachines Inc., Irvine, Calif., company best known for making cheap PCs, is eyeing appliances.

    No, not refrigerators or washers. Instead, its top executive hinted that the Irvine, Calif., company is ready to jump into the market for even cheaper, special purpose Internet-enabled devices. eMachines "will put one in our roadmap soon," said president Stephen Dukker.

    "I do believe there is a market for these devices. We view it as truly a different market from the PC space. (It is) for the other 40 percent that don't want a PC," he said. "It's a way to get connected (to the Internet) for people who really count perceive needing a PC."

     
  • AOL enters the rating game
    Time: 04:22 EDT/09:22 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The same group that rates video games will also rate any game on AOL. Now will other online gamers follow AOL's suit?

    In a move it hopes will set a new standard for the online gaming industry, America Online Inc. announced Thursday that all games played on its service will be rated by the same group that rates nearly all offline, packaged games.

    "We really think it's important for consumers to be informed and help them make the best decisions for what their children do online," said Ginny Wydler, director of standards and policy for AOL (NYSE: AOL).

    The ratings body, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), ranks games in categories ranging from "early childhood" to "mature" and "adult." So far, the majority of online games are unrated. Arthur Pober, executive director of ESRB, hopes AOL's announcement will help change that situation

    "When we created the ratings system (for packaged games) originally, we didn't have the entire industry," he explained. "As consumers became more and more aware we garnered a major part of the industry. I hope that's what AOL helps us do in the online world."

     
  • House OKs cybersquatting bill as part of budget vote
    Time: 04:07 EDT/09:07 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The House approved legislation intended to protect businesses from cybersquatters, those who register company trademarks as Internet addresses and try to sell them for a profit.

    The legislation, previously worked out in conference with the Senate, is an amendment to the omnibus budget bill that today passed by 296-135.

    Under the bill, cybersquatters are liable for penalties up to $100,000 for registering a domain name that is similar to a company's trademark.

    Business interests have favored the legislation, while civil libertarians object on grounds of free-speech concerns.

    The Clinton administration has said it is opposed to a similar standalone bill called the Trademark Cyberpiracy Prevention Act, passed by the House late last month. But the administration would seem unlikely to try to block the measure approved today, since the $390 billion budget bill that incorporates the cybersquatting legislation also covers five of the federal government's 13 yearly spending bills, and has recently been the subject of high-stakes negotiations.


News Date: Thursday 18th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • PC virus forces 2-day Dell factory closure
    Time: 19:27 EDT/00:27 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The Limerick factory of U.S.-based computer maker Dell Computer had to shut down operations for two days after its production systems were infected with a computer virus.

    Dell told Reuters it had halted its manufacturing plant from last Thursday until Monday and recalled 12,000 units after it discovered the so-called "FunLove" virus in the system used to load software into desktop and laptop computers it makes.

    "We were back in production on Monday and everything is back to normal," a Dell spokeswoman said.

     
  • Movie trade group tries to block DVD cracking tool
    Time: 19:23 EDT/00:23 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    In a major test of a new copyright law, the Motion Picture Association of America is hunting down and eliminating from the Net a program that cracks the security on DVDs.

    The motion picture industry was rocked earlier this month when programmers discovered a way to remove anti-copying features from DVD versions of hundreds of copyrighted works. .

    But the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which lobbies for the major U.S. studios' political and financial interests, appears to be having success in convincing Web sites to remove the utility. Called DeCSS, the program can crack the encryption code in the DVD Content Scrambling System, allowing people to make unauthorized copies of digital movies to play on their computers or television sets.

    The MPAA has sent cease and desist letters to numerous Web sites, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which passed last October. The DMCA made it a crime to create, sell or distribute any technology that could be used to break copyright-protection devices.

     
  • Compaq, Cable and Wireless Ink Online Service Deal
    Time: 19:16 EDT/00:16 GMT News Source: NewYork Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Compaq Computer and Cable and Wireless announced Thursday that they would jointly spend $500 million to provide one-stop-shopping for small and medium business services.

    They will employ a burgeoning technology called application service providers, or ASP.

    Compaq will commit $200 million to the venture, with the remaining $300 million coming incrementally from Cable and Wireless, a leading British telecommunications company.

    Under the agreement, Cable and Wireless will provide the hosting centers where the data are processed and the network, which is capable of handling a number of different applications including Internet access, voice and video streaming, and sales force automation.

     
  • US Warns Consumers of Fraud Schemes Linked to Y2K
    Time: 19:10 EDT/00:10 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The U.S. Justice Department warned consumers on Thursday to be on alert for fraud schemes concocted by criminals to take advantage of fears over the Y2K computer glitch.

    ``We may be entering the 21st Century, but these schemes are just dressing up old-fashioned telemarketing fraud in high-tech clothing,'' Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder said at the weekly Justice Department news briefing.

    ``We have not seen a major upswing in the numbers of complaints about Y2K fraud but we are anticipating that as we get closer to the end of this year more criminals will try to con consumers and want consumers to know what to look for and how to respond to it,'' Holder said.

     
  • Priceline adds three airlines
    Time: 04:40 EDT/09:40 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    In a move seen spurring its revenues and profits, Priceline.com on Wednesday said it will sell tickets for the three major airlines it does not already serve, United Air Lines, American and US Air, and will take a one-time, $1.1 billion charge related to the deal.

    Under the pact, each of Priceline's (Nasdaq: PCLN) eight major airline partners will be given warrants to take equity positions in Priceline, in proportion to their market share.

    A Priceline spokesman could not immediately detail the percentage stake the airlines will have in Priceline.

    Priceline expects to record a one-time, non-cash fourth quarter charge of about $1.1 billion to reflect the accounting cost of the new warrants.

     
  • Year 2000 Computer Costs Estimated at $365 a Person
    Time: 04:36 EDT/09:36 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The government said Wednesday that the cost of repairing the Year 2000 computer problem would be $100 billion, or $365 for each man, woman and child in the United States.

    For all that, the Commerce Department predicted that the effect of computer failures on the economy would be merely "something like a tangled shoelace for a world-class marathon runner."

    In a new report, the government said the economy was sufficiently "stable, large and resilient" that failures -- even those overseas -- would not seriously affect the $9 trillion gross domestic product.

    "Any glitches that pop up next year should not hurt our economic growth," Commerce Secretary William M. Daley said. "I am not going to lose any sleep."


News Date: Wednesday 17th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
e-Bay
  • Intel Repeats Q4 Demand Beyond Its Supply, Shrs Slip
    Time: 17:59 EDT/22:59 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Intel Corp (NasdaqNM:INTC - news). said it has been seeing stronger than expected fourth-quarter demand for its computer chips, and reiterated comments that it would have trouble filling orders beyond its existing commitments.

    ``We built for a seasonally strong fourth quarter,'' Intel spokesman Michael Sullivan said. ``The reality is that it's stronger even than that,'' he said, referring to demand outstripping the supply of chips manufactured at its plants.

    ``We are not able to meet some of the new upside requests from some additional customers at this point in time,'' Sullivan said. ``Upside'' is an industry term for additional sales demand that can lead to better-than-expected financial results.

     
  • U.K. Bill Combines E-Spying, Crypto Control
    Time: 17:52 EDT/22:52 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The U.K. government pulled controversial encryption controls and e-mail spying powers from two draft laws in a surprise move on Wednesday.

    However, a new bill will see both measures reintroduced as soon as possible, according to a government spokeswoman.

    E-commerce proponents and civil liberties groups had argued against the Electronic Communications Bill, which purported to promote the use of e-commerce by recognizing digital signatures, but called for two-year prison sentences for people who fail to provide encryption keys to law enforcement when demanded. For telling customers about their accounts being tapped, ISPs would have faced five years in jail. The first bill will still go through, but would be stripped down to exclude the access measures, a Home Office spokeswoman said.

     
  • Web traffic bounces back; AOL still on top
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The average amount of time U.S. Internet users spent on major Web sites rose 9.3 percent to more than eight hours in October from September, a study said yesterday, in a sign that Internet use was rebounding from seasonal softness during the summer and early fall months.

    Nielsen/NetRatings, an Internet measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, said its monthly study of the top 25 Web sites showed a recovery in visitor traffic after slowing between August and September.

    Christmas came early for online retailers, as the top three toy sites enjoyed a more than 100 percent jump in visitors in October, the survey found.

     
  • Can Pitney catch up to Stamps.com, E-Stamps?
    Time: 17:42 EDT/22:42 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    After toiling for decades under U.S. Postal Service regulations, metering giant Pitney Bowes seems to have become as slow moving as the government agency, watching fleet-footed Net-only rivals take a strong lead in the Internet postage market.

    While the company has the technology and the established brand recognition to compete vigorously with e-commerce upstarts, its migration to the Internet has been less than energetic.

    As a result, investors have pounded the company's stock--which is hovering around a 52-week low--as a steady stream of news about Stamps.com and E-Stamp pours out and pushes their shares higher.

     
  • Poorly timed software upgrade paralyzes Nasdaq
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: ZDII Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Traders were unable to buy or sell stocks for 17 crucial minutes Tuesday after Nasdaq officials attempted a software upgrade on the fly in the last half hour of trading. Something went wrong and investors were the ones who paid the price.

    The timing of the outage couldn't have been worse. Following the Federal Reserve Board's decision to raise short-term interest rates one-quarter of a percent and adopt a "neutral" bias, traders pushed the Nasdaq composite up 74 points to another record close of 3,293.07 on volume of 1.48 billion shares, also an all-time record.

    From 3:40 p.m. to 3:57 p.m. the nation's largest electronic stock market was unable to process trades.

    Wayne Lee, a Nasdaq spokesman, said the software upgrade was necessary to "handle the extremely high volume of trading" late in the session. The move appeared to trigger problems with the market's trade reporting and quotation systems.

     
  • Hobby site aims to grab some of eBay's glory
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Content site eHobbies is hoping to grab a small portion of the online auction market from giant auctioneer eBay.

    eHobbies, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, launched an auction site where model builders, stamp collectors and other hobby aficionados can buy or sell products.

    eHobbies is the latest among a growing number of companies that are looking to break into the auction market, currently dominated by eBay. Research firm Gomez Advisors estimates the company earns about 70 percent of all online auction revenues.

    Yet those staggering numbers aren't discouraging other firms from jumping in with their own bids. This month DesignerOutlet.com and Playboy announced plans to join the Fairmarket auction network. Last month, the Disney-backed Go Network unveiled its own auction site.


News Date: Tuesday 16th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Chip rivalry yielding unexpected user bonanza
    Time: 19:15 EDT/24:15 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The escalating speed race between Intel and AMD augurs faster, cheaper computers sooner than expected.

    The stepped-up competition between Intel and AMD is proving to be an unexpected bonanza for consumers.

    With their latest round of announcements, the two chip heavyweights introduced products aimed at power users. But analysts and industry executives point to a wider spillover benefit for consumers: the rivalry is pushing the two companies to launch more powerful chips at a faster clip than they otherwise might.

    Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is looking to round out its suite of desktop PC processor offerings at the high and low ends of the megahertz barometer, later next year. The company, which Monday shipped its 820 chip set for high-end desktop PCs, intends to keep the pressure on rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD), which itself announced plans to ship the 750MHz Athlon processor by the end of the year and the 800MHz version in the first quarter of the year 2000.

    Customers benefit when the newer chips are introduced more rapidly and existing chips are reduced in price. eMachines Inc., for example, just introduced the $899 eMonster 500A, a new desktop PC based on Intel's 500MHz Pentium III chip.

     
  • Gateway quick to launch promotion with AOL partnership
    Time: 18:52 EDT/23:52 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Gateway is wasting no time stretching the legs of its AOL partnership.

    Gateway this weekend kicked off a promotion offering of one year of free AOL access for people buying a Gateway Essential 400 or 500 PC.

    AOL last month invested $800 million in Gateway and entered a broad marketing relationship. The deal also makes AOL the de facto Internet service provider (ISP) for Gateway and calls for AOL's service to be marketed alongside the existing Gateway.net service.

    "Clearly it stems from our partnership with AOL," said Gateway spokesman John Spelich. "What you're seeing is the rubber meeting the road of the announcement of the agreement."

    But the positioning of AOL also casts a shadow over the future of Gateway.net, which serves about 600,000 customers. As part of the October agreement, AOL replaced UUNET as the backbone provider for Gateway.net, ensuring the service will continue at least in the short term.

     
  • Judge bars Disney’s Internet logo
    Time: 04:08 EDT/09:08 GMT News Source: MSNBC Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Walt Disney Co. must stop using the emblem for its Go.com Internet sites today because the image resembles the one used by the similarly named GoTo.com search engine, a judge ruled.

    In December 1997, GoTo.com began using the logo of a green circle on a yellow background with the letters “GoTo” in white.

    Nearly two years later, Disney began using a logo of a green traffic light in a yellow case with “Go” written in white to link its various Websites under the Go Network heading.

    In February, GoTo.com sued Disney and Infoseek Corp, the entertainment company’s Internet partner, saying the Go Network emblem confuses consumers.

    U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter agreed Friday, issuing a preliminary injunction that forces Disney to change its logo.

     
  • BubbleBoy to Burst?
    Time: 04:06 EDT/09:06 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matt Sabean

    When it was first discovered earlier last week, the BubbleBoy virus was alarming, but not a threat. No known copies existed "in the wild," because BubbleBoy's author sent the virus code directly to security experts.

    But now the virus, launched by simply previewing infected email in Microsoft's Outlook email program, has been posted on a Japanese Web site. Malicious virus writers will inevitably copy it, tweak it, and let loose dozens of potentially nasty variants in coming weeks, security experts said.

    "Tomorrow, this thing is going to be in the wild," said Keith Peer, president of Central Command, an anti-virus software maker, on Friday. "We'll see a whole family of these crop up in the next month and a half."

    Which isn't to say there's cause for personal alarm. Since BubbleBoy was discovered earlier this week, every major anti-virus software firm has issued a software antidote. Microsoft posted a software patch that will thwart the basic mechanism the virus uses to launch itself (it only affects Windows-based machines).

     
  • Comdex Still Draws at 20
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Before eBay, the Web, America Online, Dell, and IBM PCs, there was Comdex. But the granddaddy of all computer trade shows isn’t ready for the rest home just yet.

    As long as such veterans as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard -- and some yet-to-be-discovered talents -- continue to regard Comdex as the place to show off their latest, the crowds will keep on coming.

    At 20, it's nearly as old as a lot of the 200,000 participants who have descended on this gambling mecca to ogle the newest innovations and add to their t-shirt collections.

    Year One of North America’s largest trade show featured innovative PC calculating software called "spreadsheets" and the networking technology known as "Ethernet." Two decades later, the exhibitors have moved away from the desktop and to alternative information appliances.


News Date: Monday 15th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Ask Jeeves goes live with Net Effect acquisition
    Time: 18:02 EDT/23:02 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Ask Jeeves, an Internet search provider, agreed to buy closely held Net Effect Systems for $288.1 million in stock, adding a live-help Web-searching service to its arsenal.

    Ask Jeeves will exchange 1.84 million shares for North Hollywood, Calif.-based Net Effect. Net Effect investors will own 5.5 percent of Ask Jeeves when the transaction is completed.

    Ask Jeeves' service allows users to look for information on the Web by phrasing queries in conversational English. The company said the acquisition of Net Effect will enable it to link customers to live experts who can answer questions by email or telephone.

    "The ability to offer live interaction with a human being at the point when it is most important to e-commerce and overall customer satisfaction presents a compelling proposition," Rob Wrubel, Ask Jeeves' chief executive, said in a statement.

     
  • Lycos gets into the music groove
    Time: 18:02 EDT/23:02 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The MP3 beat goes on, as Lycos Music becomes the latest musical destination site, combining search, downloads and everything you ever wanted to know about your fave -- and not-so-fave -- bands.

    Following on the heels of what is fast becoming an Internet portal standard, Lycos Inc. unveiled a new online music destination site early Monday.

    Lycos Music aims to capitalize on the popularity of the MP3 music format with new a search feature, downloads and other music-related content.

    Larger portals such as Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO) and America Online (NYSE:AOL) have already created music hubs in an effort to attract an estimated 24 million Web music enthusiasts.

     
  • Dell Revamps Web Site
    Time: 17:54 EDT/22:54 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matt Sabean

    By tailoring design to users' expertise, Dell hopes to improve tech support.

    Eager to maintain its leadership in direct PC sales, Dell is unveiling Monday a complete redesign of its massive Web site, sporting a less cluttered interface and easier access to sales and support.

    Improving upon the already popular Web site is a priority for Dell because its research shows people want a good experience, especially high-quality customer service, more than anything else. Good prices and quality products are important, but service tops the list, says Michael Swart, senior manager of business development.

     
  • CyberSource causes e-commerce frustration
    Time: 17:50 EDT/22:50 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    With the holiday shopping season taking off, merchants using CyberSource's credit card authorization system swallowed a bitter pill when the company known as the "power behind the buy button" went offline Friday.

    CyberSource said its systems went down around 9 a.m. PT on Friday and remained down through the afternoon because of difficulty configuring its hardware and software.

    While a slew of e-commerce sites--including Beyond.com, eBay and Amazon.com--have experienced intermittent outages as volume to their sites surges, CyberSource said that it was not affected by its growing traffic.

    "There were no scalability issues involved," William Donahoo, vice president of marketing, said. "The interruption was caused by an operational configuration on our part. It should not have happened."

    The glitch even affected the company's backup systems.

     
  • Wall Street Nightmares Over Y2K Bug? Not Exactly
    Time: 04:07 EDT/09:07 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Seven weeks and counting to the ``Y2K Bug'' that could stir a lot of millennial anxieties on Wall Street. But the stock market is not behaving as if it is scared.

    It's November and the Nasdaq market has zoomed to more than a dozen records this month and the Dow Jones industrial average has recovered nicely after slumping some 10 percent between August and October.

    Indeed, there are no signs of panic in the run-up to the year 2000, when millions of computers roll over from 1999 and some may confuse the change to 1900, messing up date-sensitive functions. The concern has been that disruption on a large scale could push the economy into recession, stun corporate earnings and slam the stock market.

    Not to worry, say the forward-looking stock investors, taking a roll of the dice that there will be some post-Y2K benefits.

     
  • Mexican Programmer to Start Linux-Based Firm
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Miguel de Icaza, a Mexican programming whiz who helped make Unix and the upstart Linux computer operating system easier to use in a desktop environment called GNOME, has started a company to develop more Linux-based software.

    ``We are creating applications like Microsoft Office, for GNOME,'' the 26-year-old de Icaza said in a phone interview. ''We have investment. It's exciting and I get to work on GNOME full time so that's even better.'' The company will be based in the Cambridge, Mass. area and is expected to have about 12 employees initially.

    De Icaza, a wiry, hyper-energetic programmer who gets teased about how much coffee he drinks, said he is waiting for his visa to be approved before he moves from Mexico City to the United States. Just last week, he received an innovation award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    De Icaza and 300 plus developers have worked in their spare time to develop GNOME, which is given away free over the Internet. Now, the company he is founding with Linux programmer and friend, Nat Friedman, will develop Linux applications, all of which will be freely available.


News Date: Friday 12th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Shortage! Drought in new PIIIs
    Time: 16:53 EDT/21:53 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Major PC makers say they are having trouble getting their hands on the 733MHz Pentium III chip, causing shipment delays.

    Computer users with a need for speed are apparently running into a speed bump.

    Major PC manufacturers are reporting shortages of Intel Corp.'s fastest processor, the 733MHz Pentium III, spurring some delays in PC deliveries.

    An executive at Micron Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq:MUEI) said the shortage has become a daily frustration for him and is forcing the computer maker to "juggle a lot."

     
  • Y2K is "nonissue" for Web shoppers
    Time: 16:25 EDT/21:25 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Most online shoppers are not afraid that Year 2000 computer problems will get in the way of online purchases or returns, and in fact, retailers expect a record number of online sales over the holiday season.

    "Y2K is a pretty big nonissue as far as consumers are concerned," said Mark Snowden, senior analyst with market researcher firm Gartner Group.

    When Web users were asked if they have concerns about buying or returning items online because of Y2K, about 82 percent said no, a Gartner study found. In fact, experts said the most vulnerable link in the e-commerce chain are the consumer's individual computers, of which only 55 percent have been upgraded, according to the study.

    But by all accounts, people will be buying online in record numbers this holiday season.

    "Any Y2K fear impact on electronic commerce is going to be a tiny blip on a screen overrun by new online buyers," said Art Hutchinson, a consultant with Northeast Consulting Resources.

     
  • Apple's new domain names spark interest
    Time: 16:17 EDT/21:17 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Anecdotal evidence continues to build suggesting that Apple Computer is readying a foray into the world of retail.

    The company this week registered several Net domain names that could be related to a retail venture wherein Apple would open stores that feature only Apple and related-Mac products.

    Apple secured the domain names Shop-Different.com and Buy-Different.com, both of which currently lead to the company's main Web page. The company also registered Apple-Store.net, which is a variation on the company's current Apple Store.

    Apple's plans for the domain names is unclear. Apple could not be reached for comment by press time.

    The domain name registrations comes at a time when the company has been sharing ideas with potential partners and hiring new executives to flesh out plans for retail stores.

     
  • Free Encyclopedia Web Site Unblocked
    Time: 04:22 EDT/09:22 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Britannica.com's on-again, off-again new Web site is now accessible to the horde of Internet users who brought it crashing down shortly after its debut last month.

    Just don't everybody use it at once.

    Jorge Cauz, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Britannica.com Inc., said Thursday that the site has remained up and running since the Chicago firm ``opened the gates'' again last Friday.

    Some delays can still be expected when user traffic is heavy, he cautioned. But capacity is being steadily increased, and Cauz promised that in the coming weeks the www.britannica.com site would be able to accommodate even the 10 million users who besieged it in the first days after its much-publicized Oct. 19 debut.

     
  • Net companies going into credit card business
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Taking a cue from the airlines, more Internet companies are offering their customers "affinity cards" to entice them to spend online.

    Amazon.com and AltaVista this week said they have entered into separate agreements with credit card companies to create cobranded credit cards. Offering a choice of Visa or Mastercard, both will reward customers for every purchase they make using the cards. The airline industry made the practice famous when it began rewarding travelers for every mile they flew.

    To analysts, the move into credit cards signals a rite of passage for the rapidly growing e-commerce companies. Creating a credit card is a common marketing strategy for traditional retailers, but is comparatively new to the Internet.

    Few Web companies have obtained enough customers to make offering credit cards profitable. It appears Amazon and AltaVista, with 13 and 8 million customers, respectively, have reached sufficient size.


News Date: Thursday 11th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • AOL: You've Got Charisma
    Time: 18:44 EDT/23:44 GMT News Source: Wired News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Ever since NBC lost Seinfeld, it's pretty much been downhill all the way.

    Now comes word that America Online has surpassed established television networks like NBC, Fox, and USA Networks to become one of the nation's most powerful -- and valuable -- media brands.

    Only two television networks -- the Discovery Channel and The Weather Channel -- ranked higher than AOL in a "brand equity" survey released Thursday by The Myers Group. The study measured the value of 70 major TV network and online brands based on surveys of 6,500 cable/satellite households that rated 26 different categories.

    Falling into line behind AOL were the Learning Channel, PBS, the History Channel, ESPN, Fox-TV, TVGuide Channel, and NBC.

     
  • Businesses get unexpected Y2K bill
    Time: 18:37 EDT/23:37 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Programmer who patented a widely-used solution wants to get paid

    Some businesses that thought they'd fixed their Y2K problems may still find themselves in for a millennial shock.

    Companies that use the most popular technique for eradicating the Year 2000 bug are getting an unexpected bill for thousands, even millions of dollars in licensing fees. The man who invented the process wants to be paid for it.

    At least 70% of companies use the process, known as windowing, to make their computers Y2K-ready, analysts say. Bruce Dickens, who works at McDonnell Douglas Corp., developed and patented the technique.

    ''If it stands, the implications are huge,'' said Dale Vecchio, Y2K research director at the Gartner Group, a technology consulting firm. ''Mr. Dickens is going to be a rich man.''

     
  • E-greetings continue gold rush
    Time: 18:23 EDT/23:23 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The Internet greeting card business continues to boom, according to a newly release study.

    According to PC Data Online, Blue Mountain Arts showed a 25 percent increase in traffic for October, rising to 21st place from 29th place, with 9.7 million unique users.

    As previously reported, Excite@Home paid about $780 million to buy Blue Mountain, largely to boost traffic. And AmericanGreetings.com and Egreetings Networks are planning to go public. Hurdles remain, however--notably making the sites' profitable. In addition, competition is becoming more intense.

    PC Data's ranking shows that both AmericanGreetings.com and Egreetings "conspicuously broke into the monthly top 100 with strong traffic figures."

     
  • Researchers warn about 'FunLove' virus
    Time: 18:18 EDT/23:18 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    There's nothing tender about the new FunLove virus.

    The virus, technically called W32.FunLove, brought down the servers of a large company in Europe and has been detected in companies in the United States as well, according to researchers at Symantec Corp.'s AntiVirus Research Center.

    The good news is that it shouldn't spread all that fast because it doesn't have the ability to e-mail itself like the Melissa virus, said Charles Renert, director of research at SARC. The bad news is that it uses a new way to attack the file security system of the Windows NT operating system. The virus may also use the network to spread itself.

     
  • RealNetworks faced with second privacy suit
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The case was filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of RealNetworks' RealJukebox users, on the heels of revelations last month that the company had assigned globally unique identification numbers to its popular music listening software that could have been used to track its users without their knowledge.

    "This action is being filed on behalf of the millions of users of the RealJukebox software to obtain compensation and other relief for the violations of federal and state law," said Jonathan Shub, an attorney with Sheller Ludwig & Badey, which filed the case. "RealNetworks must be held accountable for its conduct."

    To quell privacy advocates' complaints and outcries by consumers, RealNetworks immediately disclosed the use of ID numbers and then offered a patch that would replace the IDs with zeroes in its audio listening products, RealJukebox and RealPlayer 7. The company also said that it doesn't associate the ID with any user's personal information or unique listening habits.


News Date: Wednesday 10th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet Usage - Intel
  • Calling 911: Emergency systems need Y2K work
    Time: 19:38 EDT/00:38 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The federal government and vital U.S. services are ready for the Year 2000 technology glitch but many localities, small businesses and schools appear poorly prepared, President Clinton's top Y2K advisor said in a report released Wednesday.

    Surveys of more than 2,700 of the nation's "911'' emergency call centers -- most of which are operated by local governments -- found that only 50 percent were Y2K compliant as of Oct. 1, said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.

    Although this amounted to a 13 percentage point increase since June, "it is clear that a significant amount of work remains for all centers to be ready before January 1,'' he said.

     
  • Airlines band together on travel site
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Four major airlines have teamed up to develop a travel portal site that offers information on airline fares, hotels and car rentals.

    United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines have formed a joint venture with an independent management team to launch the site in the first half of 2000. Consumers will be able to search by price and look up real-time departure and arrival information.

    The companies also plan to work with hotel firms, car rental companies, cruise lines and other travel companies, and will allow other airlines to post their fares as well.

    Even as they join forces on this initiative, the companies involved intend to continue operating their respective Web sites.

     
  • Intel not stockpiling for Y2K
    Time: 04:07 EDT/09:07 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Chipmaker Intel said today it does not plan to stockpile inventory in the event of possible Y2K-related problems at its U.S. and foreign facilities.

    Intel said its microprocessor production sites rely on electricity, water, and power furnished by local private and governmental suppliers.

    A year 2000-related failure of an electricity grid or an uneven supply of power would be a worst-case scenario that would completely shut down the facilities, Intel said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The company said it was working with infrastructure suppliers for its manufacturing sites, major subcontractor sites, and transportation hubs to better ensure continuity of services.

     
  • Study: More than 100 million Americans use Net
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The number of adults using the Internet in the United States surpassed the 100 million mark, a market research report stated today, with surfers becoming increasingly savvy about use of the Web.

    The Strategis Group, a Washington-based market research firm, said one half of all adults in the United States now use the Internet, up from 65 million at mid-1998.

    In its Internet User Trends study for mid-1999, Strategis said users also are becoming more sophisticated in their Web use.

    "Internet users have become savvy," said Jeff Moore, an analyst with Strategis. "Not only is half of the population online, Internet users are more experienced and have become significantly more sophisticated in their use of the Internet as a tool for communication, commerce, and learning."

    Strategis said 77 percent of Internet users send emails with files or attachments every week, a task that for some new users can be as difficult as solving a mathematical equation.


News Date: Tuesday 9th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
IRS - IBM
  • eBay spends to eliminate lengthy outages
    Time: 16:48 EDT/21:48 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    eBay is about to flip the switch on a new backup system that should eliminate lengthy site outages--and not a moment too soon for customers and investors.

    Within the next few weeks, the leading auction site will complete the installation of a "parallel recovery system" that will limit outages to less than 75 minutes, according to spokesman Kevin Pursglove.

    The timing is crucial for eBay, which has recently suffered a series of outages. As with most e-commerce companies, the holidays provide an important--if not necessary--bump in revenues.

    Last year, for example, a big jump in auction activity in the December quarter lifted eBay revenues 642 percent compared with the previous year.

     
  • IRS to forgive some Y2K-related delays
    Time: 04:30 EDT/09:30 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The Internal Revenue Service said today it will offer relief for taxpayers snagged by the Year 2000 computer glitch despite genuine efforts to prepare their systems.

    "We recognize that some businesses may be unable to fulfill their tax obligations because of Y2K-related matters beyond their expectations or control," IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti said in a statement.

    The chief focus of the relief measure to be announced next month is business, not individuals, because companies face more immediate payment deadlines, said Don Roberts, an IRS spokesman.

     
  • IBM plans PCs with new look and feel
    Time: 04:25 EDT/09:25 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    IBM is betting customers want more style and simplicity, joining its leading rivals in revising PC design.

    Early next year, Big Blue will launch a new line of commercial PCs, code-named EON, that are easier to manage and network than current computers, according to sources close to the company.

    Some of the models will include built-in, "flat panel" screens; gone will be the "legacy" connectors common on today's PCs, such as parallel and serial ports. More interestingly, some systems may come without Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows operating system.

    The departures come as PC companies try to add a bit of dash, without much additional cost, to their products. Earlier today, HP announced the e-PC, an upcoming business PC in an small and attractive but completely sealed case. Later this week, Compaq Computer is slated to take the wraps off stylish new business systems. Dell has already previewed a modular PC code-named "Webster."


News Date: Monday 8th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Toys "R" Us outage in second day
    Time: 17:35 EDT/22:35 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    A severe outage at the Toys "R" Us Web site stretched into a second day this morning, underscoring concerns raised about the company's ability to adapt to the high demands of electronic commerce.

    The outage began around midday yesterday or possibly earlier. The site was accessible at rare intervals last night, but many other attempts to enter it were met with at least four types of "error" messages and apologies that asked visitors to come back later.

    This morning, the site carried a message that greeted many would-be shoppers yesterday: "Due to the overwhelming popularity of the BIG BOOK of savings, we have had to limit the number of guests to our Web site...Please accept our sincere appologies [sic] and try again later."

     
  • Cobalt IPO hits almost 500 percent
    Time: 04:07 EDT/09:07 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Cobalt Networks Inc., makers of Linux server-in-a-box, launches third biggest IPO ever, shares shooting up 482 percent.

    Shares of Cobalt Networks Inc., the maker of a small, blue server-in-a-box, soared almost 500 percent Friday in its initial public offering, making it the third biggest initial public offering ever.

    The Mountain View, Calif.-based company develops low-cost, compact server appliances for running Web sites and e-mail that are easy to install. Cobalt servers, one which is called Qube, also run the Linux operating system, the free upstart operating system that competes with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows.

    "They've got all the magic words between appliances and Linux, but there is also some meat behind this. It's not just smoke and mirrors, it's a real business," said Irv DeGraw, research director at WorldFinanceNet.com. "We're seeing more and more of these companies moving away from ephemeral "dotcom" businesses and getting into real businesses."

     
  • Women's sites seek to separate from crowd
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Women are manning the Net in greater numbers, but if the growing crop of "she" sites wants to avoid looking like a chain of paper dolls, they must cut themselves apart from the competition.

    As indicated by this month's stellar public offerings by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Women.com, big money is behind Net sites targeting women, who now log onto the Net at the same rate as men and more so when it comes to services such as America Online.

    Despite healthy investments and a massive potential audience, analysts say that these sites still must distinguish their content and services from one another if they want to increase traffic and build a significant customer base to offer e-commerce services.

    "We've long argued that there needs to be more differentiation between these sites," said Anya Sacharow, an analyst with Jupiter Communications. "If you think about all the different magazines on a newsstand, for example, there is clearly a difference between Vogue, Self, and Cosmopolitan."

     
  • Sprint, MyPoints.com join forces
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Long distance firm Sprint will sign a deal with Web marketer MyPoints.com tomorrow to allow Sprint customers to earn online prizes for using its phone service.

    This kind of incentive plan is becoming increasingly common in the hyper-competitive long distance industry, as companies try to maintain their customer base. Sprint and MCI WorldCom already have plans in which customers can earn airline frequent flier miles by placing calls, or simply earn credit against their phone bills.

    But the "points" model--in which a Web surfer can earn points for patronizing advertisers, and can then spend those points on products or gift certificates--is also popular online, as portals like Yahoo and Excite@Home add it to their list of services.


News Date: Friday 5th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Nasdaq - eBay - AOL
  • Delays hurting Handspring's Visor sales
    Time: 18:05 EDT/23:05 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    You may want to take Handspring's new Visor device off your holiday shopping list.

    Handspring will most likely not be able to deliver for many holiday shoppers this year, the handheld computing start-up concedes, as it is still grappling with overwhelming demand for its new device.

    Visor, which is currently only available through Handspring's Web site, is back-ordered by up to two months in some cases, and even customers who order it today should not bet on receiving the device in time for the holidays.

    The impact of missing out on the highest-volume sales period of the year is unclear, analysts say. Most companies who sell to consumers count December as their biggest month. Handspring, however, argues that it never intended to make a huge promotional push this holiday season and is thus on track with its original marketing vision.

    "We're not positioning the Visor as a holiday gift, and we never did," said Allen Bush, a spokesman for Handspring. "We knew when we got up that we weren't going to be a big Christmas product."

     
  • Nasdaq To Launch In Europe, Cover The Globe
    Time: 07:00 EDT/12:00 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Nasdaq, the electronic U.S. stock market favored by many high-tech companies, said Friday it would launch in Europe next year, putting the final piece in place for coming round-the-clock, round-the-globe trading.

    Nasdaq-Europe will be based in London, where finance minister Gordon Brown hailed the move as a boost for Europe's economy and for businesses seeking to raise capital. It has enlisted backing from Softbank Corp of Japan, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp's venture capital e-partners and Vivendi of France's fund Viventures.

    Fund managers also welcomed Nasdaq, which will use new and old techniques -- an electronic order book and market makers -- when it opens in Europe in the fourth quarter 2000.

    ``Nasdaq-Europe is an important step in creating an electronic global stock market for the benefit of companies and investors around the world,'' said Frank Zarb, head of the bourse's owners, the National Association of Securities Dealers.

     
  • Ebay Raises Stakes in Auction Dispute
    Time: 04:35 EDT/09:35 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Raising the stakes in a dispute that has important intellectual property implications for the digital age, Ebay Thursday blocked access to its site from the computers of AuctionWatch.com, a service that lists items for sale from Ebay and other online auction houses.

    AuctionWatch.com is one of a handful of so-called auction aggregators -- Web services that permit visitors to search for items for sale at multiple auction sites. Ebay asserts the aggregators should not be allowed to publish details about Ebay auctions without license or permission, and on Thursday took definitive action to prevent the practice.

    On Thursday, after weeks of negotiation broke down between the two companies, Ebay blocked access to its site from 7 AuctionWatch.com servers, laying the groundwork for an almost certain lawsuit from AuctionWatch.com.

     
  • Lawsuit Says AOL Shuts Out the Blind
    Time: 04:30 EDT/09:30 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    In a test of the idea that virtual spaces must by law be readily accessible to people with disabilities, a major organization representing the blind filed suit against America Online Inc. on Thursday, saying that its online service is almost impossible for blind people to use.

    The suit, which accuses AOL of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, was filed in Federal District Court in Boston by the National Federation of the Blind, along with the organization's Massachusetts chapter and nine individuals who are blind. The organization is a nonprofit group based in Baltimore that has 50,000 members nationwide.

    In bringing the suit, the group hopes to spur increased accessibility for Web sites and other online offerings as information, commerce, education and other vital services move into cyberspace, said Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, in a telephone interview Wednesday.

    "There has to be a way for everybody to be able to use this growing body of digital information," he said. "I believe this lawsuit will help shape the future of digital information for years to come."

     
  • Net name registry sues for rights to ".web"
    Time: 04:25 EDT/09:25 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    An ongoing tug-of-war over the right to be the offical registry for Net addresses ending in ".web" landed in federal court today, with Image Online Design suing the Internet Council of Registrars (CORE) for unfair competition and trademark infringement.

    Image Online Design, which has been seeking the exclusive right to run an officially sanctioned ".web" domain name registry since 1996, claims that competitor CORE has improperly marketed itself as a prospective ".web" registrar.

    Representatives from CORE, a nonprofit membership association of domain name registrars based in Geneva, Switzerland, could not immediately be reached for comment on the suit.

    In an interview, Image Online Design founder Chris Ambler said that his company has applied for a trademark on ".web" and claims to have priority on the mark.

    The company may have a hard time making that claim stand in court, however. In September, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published guidelines for trademarking Web addresses, in which it recommended against providing protection for so-called top-level domains such as ".web."

     
  • Amazon spreads auctions to Europe
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Amazon.com, the top Internet retailer, said it started auction services and shopping malls on its German and British Web sites, in time for an expected increase in online shopping by Europeans this holiday season.

    Amazon.com, which started selling music in Europe last week, said British and German companies can list items on aShops, an area on its Web site. British and German consumers can also sell their goods on the auction sites. Goods can be sold to any of Amazon.com's 13 million worldwide users.


News Date: Thursday 4th November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
AOL
  • Gateway to sponsor Salt Lake City Games
    Time: 04:38 EDT/09:38 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Gateway announced it has been chosen as the official computer hardware sponsor of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    The "direct sales" PC manufacturer replaces International Business Machines as the Olympics' computer partner. Big Blue decided not to renew its sponsorship because of what it said was a too-hefty price tag.

    Under the deal, Gateway will supply more than 5,000 computers to the Olympic organizers to help provide event results and standings and statistics to officials, athletes, and media. In return, Gateway will be able to use the Olympic name in its advertising and marketing campaigns.

     
  • Net gambling ban progresses
    Time: 04:03 EDT/09:03 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matt Sabean

    A U.S. House subcommittee on Wednesday voted 5-3 to ban sports and casino gambling over the Internet while shielding Internet providers like American Online Inc., AT&T Corp. and MCI WorldCom Inc. from liability.

    Under the measure, approved by the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, it would be illegal to place or receive bets on the Internet. Anyone engaged in an Internet-based gambling business could be fined the value of a placed bet or $20,000, whichever is greater, and could face a maximum four-year prison sentence. A Senate panel has approved a similar measure.

     
  • AOL Buys Stake in Blockbuster.com
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    America Online, perhaps the world's best-known Internet company, is expanding its presence in the real world. The company announced on Wednesday that it will pay $30 million for an estimated potential stake of 3 percent in Blockbuster.com, a newly created subsidiary of Blockbuster, the video rental arm of Viacom.

    The move, intended to buy exposure in Blockbuster's 65 million retail stores, is in part another step in AOL's campaign to creep into the world outside the Internet and lure the Web-wary to join its 19 million members. It follows similar deals like the "You've Got Pictures" joint promotion in Eastman Kodak stores. But the companies also said they will work to develop broadband technology, which could allow AOL to sell or rent movies over the Internet.


News Date: Wednesday 3rd November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet
  • NSI rivals try to stop Net name agreement
    Time: 17:34 EDT/22:34 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Jockeying for a bigger slice of Network Solutions' ".com" sales, some new Internet name registrars are today trying to derail the approval of NSI's crucial agreement with the body in charge of the Net's address system.

    The registrars are airing a firestorm of complaints today to try to alter the agreement during the first annual meeting here of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

    At the heart of the protest is registrars' complaint that they can't truly compete with Network Solutions (NSI), which already has a grip on almost 6.5 million Net name registrations and has first shot at many of those coming up for renewal. Brokered by the U.S. government, the naming agreement makes it clear that NSI, which had an exclusive government contract to register Net names, will abide by the rules of ICANN. ICANN was recognized by the U.S. government last November to administer the Internet's core technical functions and to foster competition with NSI.

    Under the deal, NSI also has agreed to help fund the body--a contribution that could exceed $2.25 million per year--and to break its business into two pieces: a retail side that would compete with new registrars and a wholesale side known as NSI's registry.

     
  • Community Updates
    Time: 05:00 EDT/10:00 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

    So please don't hesitate to join our community--we would love to have you! We are currently the largest Windows site on the MSN community list. Who will be our three-hundredth member?

    We have an upcoming chat taking place on Saturday November 13th at 7pm EST 12pm GMT, we will all be there.

     
  • U.S. Postal Service set to aid online returns
    Time: 04:24 EDT/09:24 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The U.S. Postal Service will announce tomorrow that it has created a service to let Internet shoppers return merchandise without facing much of the inconvenience involved in online returns.

    The Postal Service created the system software for purchase by e-commerce companies, which then can integrate the technology into their own Web sites. Once the system is available on a shopping site, customers can return unwanted merchandise to the online company without delays or lengthy phone conversations with customer service.

    As part of an effort to keep up with the fast-paced Internet businesses, the Postal Service created the new software to streamline the return process for e-commerce companies and their customers.

    In order to make a return with the new system, a customer must visit the site where the purchase was made and fill out a short form.

     
  • Bidder's Edge defies eBay legal threat
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Online auction portal Bidder's Edge said Tuesday that it has re-listed items from eBay Inc. in its search site, despite a warning from the online auctioneer.

    Last month, eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) cracked down on auction portals that allow users to search multiple portals for items. eBay claimed that the listings on its site were intellectual property and sent cease and desist letters to third-party search engines that were scanning its site.

    In many cases, the sites were presenting results that linked directly to the item for sale, bypassing eBay's home page.

    Many of the sites, including Bidder's Edge, backed down. That company actually took out an ad in major newspapers asking bidders to please list their items directly on the Bidder's Edge site.

    But the company has now reversed that decision, said cofounder and vice president of technology Peter Leeds.

     
  • Happy New Year: Y2K viruses ready
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matt Sabean

    More than 30,000 threats from computer hackers and virus writers who say they will release new viruses to herald the new year and the new millennium have been logged by the FBI and other law enforcement groups, said Lou Marcoccio, worldwide research director at the technology consulting firm Gartner Group.

    "Most of these threats will probably amount to nothing,'' Marcoccio told Reuters after addressing a community banking industry convention in Orlando.

    "But if just five or 10 viruses are released at the same time, that would overwhelm the ability of ... companies that produce the fixes. It could cause substantial productivity losses.''

    In the case of the Melissa virus earlier this year, most computer users, whether individuals or corporations, were able to protect their e-mail and messaging systems because code writers could replicate the virus and distribute the fixes before the virus' release date.


News Date: Tuesday 2nd November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Apple
  • eBay zapped by third outage in three days
    Time: 16:29 EDT/21:29 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    eBay suffered its third outage in three days this morning, as technical problems continue to plague the preeminent online auction house.

    eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said the company took down its servers at 4:38 a.m. PT and had the company's backup system up and running in place of its main system around 6 a.m.

    But many eBay users reported having trouble with the site before and after the official outage. On the eBay message boards, users spoke out against the continued problems: "I love your newest feature," one user wrote. "No access to my auctions, no photos, no bids, no searching, no refunds…and no sales!"

    Pursglove said today's outage was similar to the ones the company has had throughout the last two days, which were previously reported by CNET News.com. eBay noticed a slowdown on its system because its computers were generating an "artificial load," which creates a simulated increase in Web site traffic. To reset the system, the company replaced its main network with a parallel system, called a "warm backup."

     
  • Net name body meets amid heavy scrutiny
    Time: 16:25 EDT/21:25 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    When the body in charge of the Net's technical underpinnings convened a year ago, it was under siege by critics about everything from how its board members were picked to the breadth of its power.

    As it kicks off its first annual meeting here today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) still hasn't escaped the watchful eyes of stakeholders in the Net's critical address system--but it's safe to say that it has made progress.

    ICANN was recognized by the U.S. government last November to administer the Internet's core technical functions and to foster competition to Network Solutions (NSI), which has dominated the domain name registration market thanks to an exclusive government contract.

    During its meeting here through Thursday, ICANN's board and supporting organizations will hammer out some, but not all, of the issues facing the organization.

    Among the issues on the agenda is the establishment of an at-large membership made up of at least 5,000 everyday Net users, who will be able to affect ICANN's policies and board elections.

     
  • Apple to make graphics chip buy
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Apple Computer is in the final stages of acquiring all or part of Raycer Graphics, a graphics chip designer, in an apparent bid to strengthen the 3D capabilities of Apple computers, sources said.

    The motive for the acquisition in not completely clear, said observers, but the purchase could be part of a plan on Apple's part to bring "integrated" processors and chipsets to the Mac platform. Integrated processors or chipsets fuse the graphics chip into other basic silicon. Integrated chips don't deliver the same performance as separate chips, but they are cheaper.

     
  • Taiwan Microchip Makers Say No Damage From Quake
    Time: 04:02 EDT/09:02 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Taiwan's two top semiconductor makers -- world leaders in made-to-order ``foundry'' chipmaking -- said a strong early Tuesday earthquake caused no damage to their sensitive fabrication systems and that production was normal.

    Similarly, there were no reports of damage or production stoppages at any other major technology exporters.

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, the world's top microchip foundry, said the quake caused no damage and did not interrupt power, the main cause of losses in a major quake six weeks ago.


News Date: Monday 1st November 1999
Today's Top Business Headlines:
E-Commerce - Y2K
  • AltaVista directory loses search results
    Time: 18:45 EDT/23:45 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Web portal AltaVista has temporarily stopped updating its search directory pending technology upgrades, the company confirmed today.

    AltaVista builds its search directory in two ways. The service has developed its own technology to "crawl" the Web for links to add to its search results, and it also lets users submit URLs for inclusion in an index, increasing the likelihood that a specific Web site will show up in a keyword search.

    "We're in the process of creating a new index," said Tracy Roberts, director of marketing for AltaVista Search. "And when the index is stable, we'll [update] the URLs."

    Roberts said that withholding Web link submission is a common practice when the company decides to refresh its index. She said that AltaVista will begin adding the link submissions-in-waiting starting today, but she declined to comment on how long submissions have been sidelined.

     
  • Trend Micro reveals hacker-proof Y2K software
    Time: 18:24 EDT/23:24 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Trend Micro will launch a new product next week to provide Y2K protection against a possible outbreak of computer intruders that could hit at the end of this year, officials said.

    While many companies have prepared for the possible failure of computers to read the "00" of the new year, the so-called "Y2K Bug," Trend Micro said many users are not protected against attacks from malicious code writers trying to damage computer systems over the same time period.

    "We expect hoaxes and misinformation to be coming around the new year, causing lots of problems," said Dan Schrader, vice president of new technology for Trend. "We're already seeing signs of this happening."

    He cited industry studies showing that viruses and other computer intrusions have cost companies $7.6 billion in the first half of this year and, "we're expecting a further run-up at Y2K."

    Malicious virus writers tend to exploit computer systems at vulnerable periods--like the Y2K changeover.

     
  • Will E-Commerce Be Able To Deliver?
    Time: 05:29 EDT/10:29 GMT News Source: Yahoo Daily News Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Amid an expected explosion of online shopping this holiday season, thousands of companies have readied themselves to take our money for everything from books and records to clothes and cars, but will they be able to deliver the goods?

    Analysts say many companies are not doing much more than keeping their fingers crossed. And even those who have invested millions in order ``fulfillment'' systems could be stymied by simple human error, a recent experience with ordering online found.

    ``Delivering the goods is going to be a huge problem for some companies,'' said Malcolm Maclachlan, media e-commerce analyst at International Data Corp. ``I don't know what to predict, but it seems pretty clear some commerce sites will not be prepared for the crush of business.''

    Many Internet shopping sites went to work right after the Christmas season ended last year to prepare for this year's holidays, when research firm Jupiter Communications predicts online sales will top $6 billion.

     
  • Community Updates
    Time: 04:46 EDT/09:46 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Matt Sabean

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

    So please don't hesitate to join our community--we would love to have you! We are currently the largest Windows site on the MSN community list.

    We have an upcoming chat taking place on Saturday November 13th at 7pm EST 12pm GMT, we will all be there.

     
  • IRS acknowledges Y2K headaches
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: MSNBC Posted By: Matt Sabean

    The Internal Revenue Service is admitting it still has potential so-called “trouble spots,” and is not quite ready for the year 2000. The IRS was not even sure how many individual computers it had. But the nation’s tax collector told Congress on Friday that it was confident it would indeed be ready and added that the key equipment that processes returns had been fixed and tested for the Y2K computer problem.

    WITHOUT THAT FIX, IRS spokesman Paul Cosgrave said, “we literally would not have been able to process tax returns.”

    But if there continued to be so-called “unexpected” breakdowns, should taxpayers be concerned?

    “I would think the major concern would probably be around whether they are going to get their refund on time,” Cosgrave said Friday, explaining that if the computers quit, refunds would have to be processed by hand.

     
  • President to take questions via Internet
    Time: 04:02 EDT/09:02 GMT News Source: Nando Times Posted By: Matt Sabean

    President Clinton plans to take questions on the Internet next month in a format allowing computer users to view his responses on live video. The Nov. 8 session is sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate political group that Clinton once headed when he was governor of Arkansas.

    White House officials said the session will include Democratic office holders and leaders from a number of states discussing, along with Clinton, a range of issues including education, crime and civil government.

    Internet users also will participate.


Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for September and October News.

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