Tuesday 31 August: VNU Newswire's roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
The Times reports that Microsoft was forced to close down Hotmail, one of the Internet’s biggest email providers, yesterday when a number of Web sites and a Swedish national newspaper revealed a bug allowing someone to access the messages of any of the 40 million Hotmail users worldwide.
A short piece of code posted on the Web allowed hackers to read any file without needing to know the password. Hotmail is used by an estimated five million UK Internet users.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that David Bowie is to become the first rock star to launch a new album on the Internet. The album, hours... will be available to download from Web sites weeks before the album goes on sale in the shops. Fans will download the album on to their hardrive after making a credit card payment.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hewlett-Packard plans to announce today a new business division that will sell photocopier and printer supplies for machines made by archrival Xerox Corp. The new HP business unit will be called Eliptica.
The Guardian reports that small European businesses have yet to use the Internet as a sales tool, according to a new survey. The poll of more than 1,000 companies conducted by the Banner Corporation for Compaq and Novell reveals that only eight per cent of UK businesses sell online and only seven per cent on the continent. Nearly 40 per cent of UK companies could not see how selling online might be of use while 30 per cent saw no potential benefits.
Atmel, the US semiconductor company, announced yesterday it is to open a centre in Scotland to design and develop its smartcard technology reports the Financial Times. The expansion of Atmel Smart Card IC will entail an investment of about £10 million and will focus on designing and developing chips for smartcards that contain a microcontroller, which can process and store information.
The Financial Times reports that Transmedia, a provider of membership based discount products and services, is to look to the Internet as a key distribution channel. The company, whose products are available in 33 countries, has been developing Internet based shopping, travel and leisure and has appointed Charles Taylor, formerly head of its Internet division as chief operating officer.
So-called ghost galaxies aren't necessarily small but can be difficult to detect due to their very low star power
Ironically, solar panels installed in the colder north are the most affected by hot spots
The Mars Opportunity rover captured the images on its 5,000th day on the Red Planet
The galaxy is losing its hydrogen and the ability to form new stars