Briefs: Clinton Challenges Hi-Tech Companies

FRAMINGHAM (04/21/2000) - Clinton issues call at ComdexMarking the first such address by a U.S. president at a trade show, President Clinton last week challenged high-tech companies to get involved in programs aimed at closing the gap between the technology haves and have-nots. Clinton said it was crucial that IT companies spread new technologies to less-privileged people in order to continue the current U.S. economic expansion. "I am asking you to do this because you can. I'm asking you to do this because it's right," Clinton said in his keynote address at Comdex in Chicago. Specifically, Clinton asked IT companies to support his call to action issued at a White House briefing April 4, challenging corporations to take concrete steps to connect every U.S. classroom to the Internet and make home access universal.

Nextlink Communications Inc.'s 'Generation' fills gapNextlink is filling a gap in its offerings by adding a battery of broadband Internet services to its voice portfolio. The services, dubbed Generation Next, include digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet access and Web hosting, as well as additions to Nextlink's local and long-distance services. Generation Next paves the way for Nextlink's planned purchase of Concentric Network, which will provide the DSL and Web-hosting services. The $2.9 billion deal was announced in January.

Heavy metal lands on Napster Inc.

Heavy metal group Metallica and its music company last week filed suit against Napster, the University of Southern California, Yale University and Indiana University over copyrighted music being stored on computer systems. The suit states that the defendants are committing continuing copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio interface devices and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, according to a statement issued by the group. Napster, a software application used to download MP3 files, has been the source of much controversy lately. A large deal of that is based around a lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association of America, alleging that Napster runs a haven for music piracy. In reaction to the suit, Yale and Indiana denied liability but nonetheless began blocking student access to Napster. Yale in turn was dropped from the lawsuit.

Red Hat Inc. takes on Bluecurve hue

Red Hat Software said last week it plans to buy performance management software maker Bluecurve of Oakland, California. Bluecurve's software measures transactions and user activity that place demands on a company's Internet-related hardware and software. Red Hat plans to use Bluecurve's software to build a services program for its customers. Bluecurve's software evaluates server, network and application performance. Red Hat will issue up to 1.2 million shares of Red Hat common stock in exchange for all outstanding shares of Bluecurve to complete the deal.

Mounties nab 'MafiaBoy'

The Canadian Mounties always get their man, or so the saying goes. But in this case it's a 15-year-old hacker nicknamed "MafiaBoy." The teen was nabbed as the culprit in the February distributed denial-of-service attacks on Web sites owned by CNN.com, Yahoo Inc., eBay Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and others. Working with U.S. authorities at the FBI, Royal Canadian Mounted Police traced the network attacks back through the Toronto service provider, Internet Direct Business Solutions. MafiaBoy, whose name is not being released because of his age, aided the investigation by bragging on Internet chat forums that he launched the attacks. As part of MafiaBoy's bail conditions, a Canadian judge has ordered the teenager confined to his home unless under adult supervision.

MafiaBoy is also forbidden to use a computer, a library or any place providing online services. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for data mischief.

Oracle Corp. backs TurboLinux

Oracle has taken an undisclosed equity stake in TurboLinux, a San Francisco Linux software distributor specializing in highperformance servers. As part of the deal, TurboLinux will tweak its server software to support the Oracle8i database. The goal is to give enterprise customers a fully supported, Linux-based data server as a foundation for large-scale e-commerce applications. The TurboLinux Server software will be tuned for easier installation and management of Oracle8i. The operating system supports up to 4G bytes of RAM on 32-bit Intel computers, a feature called "Raw I/O" for faster access to disk storage and the Motif 2.1 graphical interface.

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