The Buzz: April 23, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-04-23

Matcher.A Not a Heartbreaker

Anti-virus software companies said a new virus that disguises itself as a program for finding romance partners is spreading quickly among companies in Europe.

The virus, known as Matcher.A, is less potent than the ILoveYou virus, which ravaged computer systems last May, but it could pose a nuisance by overloading mail servers internationally.

Officials at anti-virus company Symantec have received roughly 30 reports of the virus from corporate customers.

British anti-virus company Sophos said it has received only about a dozen reports, but one customer based in France was forced to shut down its mail system.

The virus, which targets only Windows users, comes attached to an e-mail message with the subject "Matcher," disguised as a program that will find someone a romantic match. The e-mail has the message: "Want to find you love mates!!! Try this its cool."

Compaq, RLX Settle Dispute

Compaq reached an out-of-court settlement in its heated dispute with former executive Gary Stimac and his startup, RLX Technologies.

The No. 1 computer maker filed a suit in February against RLX, which designs cool-running servers, accusing the company of "predatory hiring of Compaq personnel." The suit alleged that RLX aimed to obtain trade secrets that would help jump-start its effort to sell high-density "blade" servers.

In fact, 11 of the 13 top executives RLX touts on its Web site previously worked at Compaq.

Stimac himself was part of the original Compaq team when it was formed in 1982 and headed its server division before departing the company in 1996.

Compaqs lawsuit sought to bar RLX from compromising the computer makers intellectual property rights through the recruitment of its employees.

The companies declined to disclose details of the settlement.

According to court documents filed by Compaq, Stimac allegedly warned the computer maker that it would hear "a giant sucking sound" as its employees were hired away if the company didnt agree to work with RLX in developing ultradense servers.

At the time of the discussions last fall, Compaq said it was working on its own high-density server product, code-named ICE.

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