The Buzz: June 25, 2001
Helping the Disabled
The federal government has been ordered to make its Internet sites more accessible to the disabled.
President Bush, who signed the order last week, said obstacles make computer usage and Internet access for the disabled about half of that for the rest of the countrys users.
Bush said the hurdles include the lack of closed captioning on video technology, brilliant graphics that make it difficult for the vision-impaired to get information from the sites and complicated keyboard commands that are difficult for people with impaired motor skills.
He said federal agencies and private-sector companies are developing solutions to the problems, including screen-reading and voice recognition technologies. Mercury Interactive last week unveiled a product to help federal agencies ensure that their Web sites comply with federal disability regulations.
Targeting fuel costs
IBM last week said that it had delivered the worlds second-most-powerful computer and that it will be used to conduct scientific research on fuel efficiency in cars.
The supercomputer, at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, in Oakland, Calif., theoretically can conduct as many as 3.8 trillion calculations per second. It is second in power to IBMs classified ASCI White System, according to the company.
The supercomputer will simulate gasoline combustion.
Copyright woes eased
RealNetworks has pushed further into the Internet copyright fray, unveiling software last week aimed at helping companies deliver material such as music and movies over the Web.
The company also rolled out Extensible Media Commerce Language, an initiative designed to standardize rules that will allow content to be played on a variety of systems from different providers. Supporters include IBM, InterTrust and MGM.