Monday 6 December: Roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
The Financial Times reports that the government plans to regulate spam emails within the UK. The plans will attempt to curb the number of unsolicited emails sent each year. Systems that will be discussed include either an opt-in option, where users can specify whether they want emails, and an opt-out option, where users can restrict emails.
Granada and Carlton are to invest £25 million in a UK version of US search engine, Ask Jeeves, writes The Guardian. The investment will give the companies a quarter share each, with the remaining half owned by Nasdaq listed Ask Jeeves. The search engine allows surfers to ask a virtual butler for information for him to direct them to a relevant site.
The Times writes that a group of shareholders in Mannesman have reportedly asked for a court injunction to stop the board taking action to prevent the Vodafone hostile takeover bid. Klaus Esser, Mannesmann chief executive, has said he sees no point in further talks with Vodafone as there is no strategic incentive.
The Financial Times reports that the International Monetary Fund is to extend short term financing to countries suffering from Y2K computer problems. The Fund will offer financing to governments hit by difficulties such as shipping, oil or financial interruptions.
The Daily Telegraph reports that United News and Media has joined up with betting company Sporting Index to launch an Internet gaming service, E*Sport. The online site, to launch at the start of next year, will feature fixed odds betting, sports information and fantasy games. The media company will invest £7 million for 45 per cent of E*Sport and 10 per cent of Sporting Index.
Excite At Home has announced that it will sell about $400 million of debt to finance its acquisition of greeting card website Bluemountainarts.com, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company will offer convertible subordinated notes to institutional investors to cover the $350 million cash portion of its $780 million purchase of Bluemountain.
Much of today's AI is narrowly focused on specific tasks - a far cry from the general AI envisioned by the early pioneers
US space agency believes the crater could have preserved ancient organic molecules from the water that flowed there billions of years ago
Valve quietly closes down hardware initiatives launched following Windows 8
Scientists create a virtual reality simulation of a black hole sitting at the centre of the Milky Way
Simulations like this can help people understand complicated systems in the universe in a better way