Lost Packets

Under the big top, amidst acrobats and dancing clowns, may be the last place you would expect to find IBM Corp. But last month Big Blue announced a three-year technology partnership with the emperor of circuses, Cirque du Soleil. The Montreal-based Cirque said it has selected Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM as its worldwide IT sponsor through 2005, helping the show develop creative technology solutions to manage its business-side operations. As part of the deal, IBM will design and implement a wireless infrastructure via its WebSphere Everyplace software. The company will also work with Cirque to install a SAN that will connect all the organization’s servers to manage its growth. For details visit www.ibm.ca. Cirque is online at www.cirquedusoleil.com.

Clothing maker tracks inventory with semiconductors

Benneton Group SpA, best known for pushing the envelope with its controversial ads, has set its sights on the bleeding edge of technology. The Italian clothing maker recently announced it will start attaching radio frequency identification (RFID) “smart tags” to its Sisley clothing line to track shipping, inventory and sales to its 5,000 stores worldwide. The smart tags include semiconductor technology by Royal Phillips Electronics NV of Amsterdam, which along with the RFID tags, will be printed directly onto the clothing labels. The labels are readable by handheld devices developed by Ontario-based Psion Teklogix. Benneton expects more than 15 million Sisley brand garments to hit stores featuring the RFID tags. For details, visit www.benneton.com.

Online dating gets screening site

As Internet dating continues to gain popularity amongst singles seeking love around the globe, a new Web site developed by a mother-daughter team in Bloomington, Calif. offers Web-crossed lovers a chance to find out a little more than meets the eye. The site, screenyourmate.com, lets users conduct background checks on their potential Mr. or Miss Right. For a fee of US$169, curious mates can receive a detailed background report that includes a search of marriage licenses, state, criminal, civil and property records, tax liens and sex offender database findings. Screening takes approximately three to five business days, and only requires the first and last name of the prospective mate. Screenyourmate.com is an offshoot of Inland Empire Screening Services, a company that provides background checks for employers. For more information, visit www.screenyourmate.com.