News Briefs

BHP site glitters

BHP has launched an online diamond retailing site aurias.com, which went live last week. It is the first time that BHP has engaged directly with retail diamond customers. Aurias' customers will initially be given the choice of 1300 high-quality polished diamonds from BHP's 51 per cent owned Ekati mine in Canada. Carat weight will range from 0.25 to 1.50 and a small range of larger size diamonds are available on the Web site. To ensure privacy and security CommSecure will provide commercial strength encryption on all credit card payments. The brand will be launched overseas next year.

IBM gets Real

IBM has struck a deal with RealNetworks to feature RealNetworks' RealSystem technology on its Unix server line. RealSystem 8 will be available immediately for IBM's RS/6000 systems as well as the new eServer pSeries line of Unix server products. A bundled platform that includes the popular RealServer, RealProducer, and RealPlayer family of products, RealSystem 8 is operating system independent and supports more than 40 media data types. A spokesman said an increasing demand [for streaming media capabilities] from infrastructure customers and service providers drove the decision to start packaging the technology in IBM servers.

Lotus beta tests Shimmer

Lotus has launched its upcoming Web-access messaging client, codenamed Shimmer, for public beta testing. Still used through a Domino server, the software was designed to make it easier for application service providers and smaller companies to provide the service to multiple users without having to install the client on each machine. Shimmer brings a lot of Notes features to a browser interface, including the ability to work off-line and spell-check in Web-based e-mail. It doesn't have all the granular security features of Notes, nor does it support secure multiple-purpose Internet mail extensions. The reduced reliance on Java speeds up download time, and users still have access to the calendar, mail and other personal information manager information available in Notes. Users need only to log on to a Web address. The software is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of next year.

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