The Buzz: April 9, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-04-09

E-Mail Blamed for Postal Woes

E-mail is one of the reasons that has the U.S. Postal Service considering cutting back to a five-day delivery service, eliminating Saturdays from its appointed rounds.

The Postal Service last week said that reducing delivery service to five days was one of several options?along with consolidating postal facilities?to reduce spending by $2.5 billion by 2003. Currently, the agency is facing potential losses of up to $3 billion this year.

Postal Service officials listed e-mail, wage increases, greater competition and the sluggish economy as key reasons for the financial struggles.

Members of the U.S. House Government Reform Committee last week decried the idea of a five-day delivery service, with Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., calling it a ?cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face? proposal.

TV Host to Be Guest Speaker

John Walsh, the longtime host of television?s popular show ?America?s Most Wanted,? is dipping his toe into the world of cyber-crime.

Walsh, who started the show in 1988, will be a guest speaker at a roundtable discussion at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco this week.

The discussion is being hosted by Ubizen, a Belgium-based e-security company, and also will include a Ubizen client, MedContrax, and a Ubizen partner, Fiderus.

Walsh has been honored by various federal and state law enforcement agencies for his work on ?America?s Most Wanted,? which has contributed to the capture of 662 people.

Major Players Join the Battle

As Napster and its free song-swapping service struggle for survival, other big players in the recording and high-tech industries are jumping into the breach with subscription-based plans for distributing music online.

Last week, Microsoft launched its MSN Music Service, a subscription service that?s partly based on the company?s purchase of Mongo Music last year. The company made the first beta release of the service available for download last week.

That announcement closely followed one by RealNetworks, AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann and EMI Group to create their own online subscription service. The service will be called MusicNet.

Other companies muscling into this area include Viacom?s MTVi and Sony.

Rocket Fuel