News Briefs

The number of Web sites on the Internet is shrinking as domains registered during the Internet boom of late 1999 are dropped, according to Netcraft Ltd.’s Web Server Survey released this month. The report found that the number of Web sites fell by 182,142 from November to December, leaving about 36.3 million sites. The decline is only the second recorded by the survey, which started in August 1995. The first drop was a blip caused by failures and changes at several large hosting companies, Netcraft said. But this time the number of domains not renewed exceeds the number of new registrations, resulting in fewer Web sites.

Spammers find Canada to their liking

As a rising number of U.S. ISPs ban spam services and states outlaw distribution of stealth spam software, ‘spam gangs’ are finding facilities to shill online in Canada, according to a group of anti-spammers. “Canada has had a growing problem with Chinese spam gangs operating from the Toronto area since 1998,” reads the report by London-based author Steve Linford, volunteer for The Spamhaus Project, a database that tracks known spam gangs, spam support services and which lists providers who host spamming services on their networks. A December study by Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. identifies numerous kinds of spam and says that even the best kind of spam-blocking tools on the market only go so far. The study concludes that, in 2002, only five per cent of enterprises will successfully block 90 per cent of malicious spam.

A Big Mac and Web hosting to go, please

IBM Canada has been selected by McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. to provide Web hosting services for two of its sites – one for employees and an external, bilingual site. The employee site addresses incentive programs, restaurant training and a marketing and communications program, while its public domain focuses on nutrition, menu and location information. Besides hosting, Big Blue is also responsible for all security related to both sites.

Novell readies security push

Novell Inc. recently took the wraps off a centralized security suite designed to manage access to applications, databases, and multiple platform types including the Web, wireless devices and virtual private networks (VPNs). Based on existing products such as eDirectory and iChain, the solution will be Novell’s attempt to pull its slew of security point products into an integrated security infrastructure. Furthermore, the software package aims to ease customer pain points associated with managing multiple user identifications and passwords and controlling user access across numerous applications and network platforms, according to officials at the Provo, Utah-based software vendor.

Microsoft rejigs services group – already

Microsoft Corp. this month tapped a former executive of IBM Corp. to head up its worldwide services group, making a change at the top of the organization less than a year after it was formed. Mike Sinneck, a 32-year veteran of IBM, was named vice-president for worldwide services and will lead Microsoft’s new efforts to offer integrated consulting services and product support to its large business customers. The worldwide services group was created in April last year through the combination of Microsoft’s consulting services and product support services groups. Microsoft and analysts said at the time that the new division would help the company take lead roles in large system integration contracts, and aid its attempts to sell its server software products and emerging .Net technologies to customers. Sinneck’s resum