Technology Briefs

Uphill struggle for Netscape relaunch

Netscape Communications has previewed its long-awaited browser upgrade, but doubts about its success remained in the mind of one analyst: "It's a matter of whether they can regain market share," said Brooke Galloway, Internet analyst at IDC. After scrapping plans to develop an incremental version of its browser in 1998, Netscape has rewritten the entire program; implementing open Web standards, including HTML 4.0, XML and JavaScript 1.5. Netscape 6 will include features that allow users to customise the look and feel of their browsers and add tabs for constant, easy access to Internet content providers, according to Netscape Communications. Company officials also claim it will offer faster performance on desktop PCs and can be adapted to several other Internet devices and computing platforms, including Linux, Mac OS and Windows. Netscape 6 will be powered by the open-source Gecko browser engine. www.netscape.com/Oracle gets okay to export encryption technologyThe US Bureau of Export Administration has given Oracle the green light to export its Oracle8i database system with Oracle Advanced Security, a strong data encryption technology that was previously available to companies in the US only. These products contain strong encryption algorithms - 128-bit keys vs traditional 56-bit keys. www.oracle.com/Intel to release security code to open sourceIntel plans to release its Version 3.0 Common Data Security Architecture (CDSA) to the open-source community next month. The software will be available for download on May 15, for both Windows 2000 and Linux operating systems. The move is intended to encourage use of the software by letting software developers review the code for possible flaws and to give Linux users a common security architecture. http://www.intel.com/IBM releases e-business softwareIBM has announced new software to assist companies integrate their IT infrastructures for e-business. Features of the MQSeries Integrator software include a visual programming tool for non-programmers to create business rules. The software also features new Extensible Markup Language (XML) support, making it possible for companies to automatically transform messages from existing applications into usable data for XML-based applications. Priced from at $229,500, the MQSeries Integrator is available now. Other platforms including Sun Solaris and AIX will become available later this year. www.ibm.com/software/ts/mqseries/

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