Tuesday 30 November: Roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
USA Today reports that Microsoft lawyers and the US government plan to resume talks today with a federal appeals judge to negotiate an out of court settlement in the antitrust trial. Three previous attempts at a settlement have been unsuccessful.
Rich countries of the world are now focusing Y2K concerns on champagne rather than potential computer failures, writes Newsweek. Although some computer systems may malfunction at the changeover, it is expected that most things will function on 1 January. Developing nations, the paper claims, are still rushing to stave off trouble, with software testing incomplete.
The San Jose Mercury reports that shares in Linux distributor, Red Hat, rose 11 per cent yesterday. Shares in the company have risen 95 per cent since last Tuesday amid speculation that it is setting up a campaign of new acquisitions, partnerships and Linux software development advocacy.
The Daily Telegraph writes that British Airways plans to generate up to half of its £9 billion revenue from online ticket sales within three years. The carrier said the move would not mean it would cut out the travel agents and that travel agents would place bookings online alongside direct sales via BA's website and interactive television.
Electrical retailer Dixons is to pay £444 million for Scandinavian competitor Elkjop, reportsThe Times. Retailer Kingfisher, which owns Comet, PC World and Darty in France, had takeover talks with Elkjop earlier this year. Dixons said that other acquisitions are to follow.
The Guardian reports that the health and safety executive (HSE) has said it will investigate working practices at call centres after recent complaints. Workers had claimed conditions were intolerable and likened the centres to sweatshops. The HSE revealed plans to carry out a study into potential risks associated with working practices at call centres.
The Financial Times reports that Affinity Internet has announced plans to raise £19.4 million from a placing of 1.8 million shares. The company, which provides Internet access on behalf of companies such as Arsenal FC, is now worth £300 million after initially valuing at £12 million when it floated in April. Affinity also revealed a marketing deal with telecoms operator Colt.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago