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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 5, 2001

Net shoppers had fewer holiday complaints

WASHINGTON -- Holiday shoppers who went online last year reported fewer problems with Web purchases, particularly the shipping delays that plagued the 1999 season. The Federal Trade Commission said last week it had received fewer consumer complaints and credited online companies with making more realistic shipping claims. The number of complaints was not available. Jodie Bernstein, director of the commission's consumer protection bureau, said a review of Better Business Bureaus and consumer complaint Web sites also suggests that online retailers did a better job meeting their shipment commitments. During the 1999 holiday season, many Internet stores failed to deliver on time and didn't notify customers of late shipments, FTC spokesman Eric London said. Facing civil charges, seven companies including Macy's and Toys "R" Us paid more than $1.5-million in penalties.

Nortel software tracks users on Internet

NEW YORK -- Nortel Networks unveiled an online technology that would let network operators keep track of where and how individuals use the Internet. The Canadian company said its "Personal Content" network software will make it easier to customize online services to individual preferences and needs, but some consumer advocates attacked it as a potential invasion of privacy. Either way, new software tools such as Nortel's are meant to help network service providers grapple with the ever-growing crush of Web traffic as more people and companies incorporate the Internet into daily activities, adding to demand for heavy-duty services such as streaming video and audio.

Intel introduces energy-saving chips for portables

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Advancing again in the race to manufacture chips for the mobile computer market, Intel Corp. has built two new energy-saving versions of its Pentium III and Celeron microprocessors. The two new low-voltage chips are designed for lightweight notebooks weighing less than 3 pounds. One of them, the Pentium III, is the industry's first to operate at 300-megahertz speed under 1 volt while consuming less than a half watt of power, Intel officials said. The less power used by the chip, the longer the battery lasts. Developing such power-efficient microprocessors has become a high-stakes competition in the fast-growing segment of notebook computers, which is projected to triple to 30-million units in the United States by 2005.

- Compiled from Times wires.

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