News briefs

Cable & Wireless has won a $US100 million, three-year contract to supply global telecommunications services to News Corp. A spokesman said the services will be used to boost News Corp's development of an integrated packet-switched network to support voice, video, data and Internet services for its offices around the world. It has been suggested that Australian carrier OneTel had hoped to exploit its links to the Murdochs to take out the contract.

Intel is expected to react swiftly to a sluggish PC market by announcing this weekend price cuts of up to 40 per cent for some of its desktop chips, and price reductions of a lesser magnitude to its mobile processors. In general Intel lowers its chip prices about once a month and the sizes of those drops are dictated by market conditions, a spokesman said. Analysts agree the cuts could be larger than usual because demand is currently weak.

Researchers in the US and Germany are trying to develop a new storage medium from rolls of adhesive tape. The research will be based on a recent discovery that the polymer structure of Tesa Multi-Film tape is well suited to use as a holographic data medium. Data can be stored on the roll using a technique similar to burning a CD to modify the optical properties of the tape, and information can be stored on any layer of the tape without unwinding the roll or disturbing other layers.

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