Thursday 14 October: VNU Newswire's roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
Priceline.com has filed a suit against Microsoft and its Expedia.com website over alleged patency infringement, reports USA Today. Last month Microsoft launched a service on Expedia that lets consumers name their price for hotel rooms. Priceline.com has accused Microsoft of violating one of its patents and claims the company violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Worldwide chip sales are expected to grow 14 percent to more than $155 billion this year, writes the San Jose Mercury. Many experts had worried there would be a disruption in supplies after the Taiwan earthquake, but annual double-digit sales growth is expected to continue and sales of semiconductors are expected to reach $251 billion by 2002.
The homeless in Brighton are to be offered free Internet access and email accounts, writes The Daily Telegraph. As part of a Government and Sun Microsystems sponsored pilot scheme, PCs have been installed in the Big Issue offices and Web training sessions are being offered free. The scheme, Help Us to Be Successful (HUBS), was opened last week.
The Guardian reports that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates met Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday to discuss ways Britain could advance in technology. Mr Gates said he welcomed the government's recent appointment of an 'e-envoy', but said targets needed to be given a specific time frame. He also warned that larger and richer American companies will move into European markets, overwhelming Europe's fledgling Internet industries.
The New York Times reports that following a continued investigation into the possible use of the Internet by paedophiles, four men have been charged with having sex with boys they met through the use of a computer. A district attorney said the suspects arrested were familiar with one another through their use of the Internet, and said that paedophiles' use of the Internet was increasingly common.
The online brokerage firm Etrade has reported a smaller than expected fourth quarter loss, writes the New York Times. Analysts had expected the company to report a loss of 13 cents a share, but it lost 11 cents a share. The company said it had spent $301 million during the last year on sales and marketing, but that the effort was being rewarded with lower acquisition costs.
Ssupermassive black hole is so big it corresponds to four per cent of the galaxy's total mass
Using photocatalysts to convert carbon dioxide into usable energy such as methane or ethane