Friday 27 August: VNU Newswire's roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
The Times reports that Microgen, the computer services group, saw a slump in its share price yesterday after the company warned that second half earnings would be affected by concerns over the millennium bug. This announcement came after the company reported an interim pretax profit of £1.52 million, up from £1.29 million.
Central banks face extinction as many turn to settling accounts over the Internet, reports The Guardian today. New forms of Internet only money are being created by private companies so consumers can purchase goods and services online. Soon consumers will be able to download these currencies onto smartcards for purchases in the real economy.
The Financial Times reports that Deutsche Telekom may sell its nine regional cable networks in stages rather than at once. The sale values the assets at DM20 billion (10.2 billion euro) and has attracted strong interest from foreign and domestic investors. Ron Sommer, chairman, said that he had received more than 20 bids.
The Wall Street Journal reports that AOL Europe said it will slash prices for access to its German Internet service. Andreas Schmidt, AOL Europe's chief executive, said AOL's mission is to reduce call charges in countries such as Germany to drive people online. T-Online is also considering a number of price cuts in response to AOL's move.
The New York Times reports that an international team of researchers demonstrated this week that it was possible to break the security codes used to protect financial transactions over the Internet. The seven month effort used a significant amount of computing power involving 292 computers at 11 sites in six countries, but showed that the standard level of encryption for Internet transactions, known as 512bit encryption, was not secure.
The Internet's new oversight board has adopted a proposal for resolving competing claims to the names used for Internet addresses reports The New York Times. "The major benefit of this policy is that the people who register domain names, whether they are individuals or businesses, will have a much clearer picture of what their rights are," said Esther Dyson, interim chairwoman of the group, which is known as Icann. "This makes it much easier to resolve disputes."
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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