News Briefs

News Briefs

Industry analysts were left scratching their heads recently as they tried to understand the reasoning behind ten subpoenas sent out by IBM Corp. and The SCO Group Inc. as part of their ongoing legal dispute. The subpoenas were sent to a variety of individuals and companies including Linux creator Linus Torvalds, SCO investor BayStar Capital, and Novell Inc. But analysts and observers said it’s unclear how those subpoenaed could advance the two claims that form the crux of the SCO-IBM lawsuit. “Linus (Torvalds) is the only one who seems worth subpoenaing,” said Bill Claybrook, a research director with Aberdeen Group Inc.

Deutsche Telekom denies interest in AOL

Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) chairman Kai-Uwe Ricke has denied rumours that the group’s Internet unit is in talks to acquire Time Warner Inc.’s American Online (AOL) division, although analysts expect the German telecom giant to make one or two key acquisitions in the months ahead and build its international online presence. Rumours of T-Online going shopping for ISPs have flourished since the German Internet company confirmed surplus capital of more than US$4.7 billion.

Cyberterrorism a dud: Gartner

Governments, after years of fruitless hysteria, are shifting their national security focus away from the threat of cyber attacks launched by terrorist groups to enhancing eavesdropping capabilities to monitor such groups, according to Gartner Inc.’s research director for information security and risk, Rich Mogull. All but dismissing the cyberterror threat, Mogull claims that, after much publicity, it has failed to materialize in all but theory. “There has not been a single case; we’ve talked with governments, businesses and the military and there has not been a single occurrence,” Mogull said. Rather, western cyber efforts against asymmetric threats were being deployed to leverage intelligence from the Internet, which terror groups have readily used to facilitate communications between members and promote their causes.

Oracle’s bid for PeopleSoft in doubt

Oracle Corp. recently filed a request at a Delaware Court for an expedited ruling on its suit to block PeopleSoft’s anti-take-over provisions. In particular, Oracle is pointing to the program PeopleSoft initiated that offers customers a refund of up to five times the cost of PeopleSoft’s software licences should PeopleSoft be bought out in the next two years and the purchasing company drops support for the applications within four years. Oracle is arguing in court documents that the refund program could make a take-over “prohibitive” not just for Oracle, but for any potential suitor.

Gartner predicts IT spending spree for 2006

The worldwide IT economy will rebound strongly by 2006, according to Gartner Inc. chief executive officer Michael Fleischer, who claimed that most enterprises will soon change their strategic focus from cutting costs and protecting profits to aggressively driving growth. Speaking at the recent Gartner Symposium in Sydney, Australia, Fleischer said the Gartner forecast was based on a “confluence of major events and emergent new technologies.”

New Apple cluster third ranked supercomputer

A computer cluster consisting of 1,100 Apple Computer Inc. Power Mac G5 desktops, purchased online and connected together in a matter of weeks by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is currently the third-fastest computer in the world, according to the latest edition of the closely followed Top 500 ranking. The cluster, which attracted considerable attention because of its use of off-the-shelf computers and networking technology, is the highest new entry in the twice-yearly ranking that also includes a number of other new machines based on clusters of standard computers running Linux. The top two positions in the latest edition of the list are unchanged with the NEC Corp.-built Earth Simulator of the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center and the Hewlett-Packard Co.-built ASCI-Q machine at Los Alamos National Laboratory.