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Tech Talk

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 22, 2001


Tech alliance, government team up against hackers

WASHINGTON -- Nineteen of the nation's top technology companies, including rivals Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, have teamed up with the federal government to catch hackers. The competitors pledged to share intelligence with each other and the government about product vulnerabilities and hacker trends to shore up public confidence in e-commerce and protect the more than $7-billion in business-to-business revenue over the Internet. The government will in turn alert the companies to new threats. The new group will be called the Information Sharing and Analysis Center for Information Technology.

EGames to stop using ‘spyware’ software

Budget computer-gamemaker eGames Inc. of Langhorne, Pa., said last week that it will stop using software that surreptitiously collects information about users' computers and the Web advertising they click on. Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm threatened legal action against eGames in September over its use of a software utility called TimeSink. Granholm said use of the software, which her office described as "spyware," violated Michigan's Consumer Protection Act because it was not disclosed by eGames. The company sells discount games, including computer versions of arcade games, bingo and mah-jongg, as online downloads, and in shrink-wrapped CD-ROMs at discount department stores such as Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target. The company agreed to remove the TimeSink program from its games by March 31 and has posted a free program on its Web site (www.egames.com) for disabling the software in existing games.

Holidays meant membership bonanza for AOL

NEW YORK -- AOL Time Warner Inc. said its America Online Internet service has more than 27-million subscribers after breaking a single-day record for signing up customers, according to Bloomberg News. The company, formed when America Online Inc. completed its $124-billion purchase of Time Warner Inc., has added more than 1-million America Online subscribers since Dec. 12, spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said. That included 70,000 subscribers on Dec. 25, the most new customers AOL has gained in one day, Goldberg said.

Sega offering high-speed modem for Dreamcast

Sega of America is selling a high-speed modem for its Dreamcast video game console. The console comes with a slower, dial-up modem that lets users connect to the Internet and play video games with other Dreamcast owners. For now, the new Ethernet modem, priced at $59.95, is available only through the company's Web site, Sega.com. The company expects retail stores to begin carrying the modem. Sega has been attempting to attract new customers and win the loyalty of existing consumers by being the first console to let gamers play online via its SegaNet service, which charges users $21.95 a month for Internet access.

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- Compiled from Times wires.

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