Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (03/20/2000) - Northwest Airlines Inc. has taken to the air with a slimmed-down version of the Northwest Web page, offering travelers the ability to check flight arrival and departure information over Wireless Application Protocol phones. The service will also allow travelers to receive real-time departure and arrival information as well as check their frequent-flier mileage.

Sprint PCS Group and Ford Motor Co. have teamed to offer built-in digital wireless service in 2001 model year Lincoln cars that will automatically transmit a call for help upon deployment of the car's air bag in an accident.

The new service, built around a dual-band Motorola StarTac wireless phone, will also automatically transmit the location of the vehicle, Sprint said.

Flanked by the chairman of one of the state's largest businesses - America Online Inc.'s Steve Case - Virginia Gov. James Gilmore last week signed the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) into law, making Virginia the first state to do so. But the bill won't take effect until July 2001, a delay that came at the behest of some of the state's largest nontechnology companies, which believe UCITA gives software vendors the upper hand in software licensing.

3Com Corp., which had originally scheduled analyst briefings in February, moved the meetings to the week of March 20, allowing the dust to settle on the spin off of its Palm Inc. business on March 2. Reorganization is now in the wind for 3Com, according to analysts. . . . Scientists at IBM Research's laboratories have discovered chemical reactions that could eventually let computer hard disks and other data storage systems store more than 100 times more data than current products, the company said.

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