The Buzz: September 10, 2001

IBM and online auction leader eBay are strengthening their already close relationship.

IBM to Expand eBay Auctions

IBM and online auction leader eBay are strengthening their already close relationship.

IBM, which is selling computers and servers on eBay in a pilot project that began earlier this year and already has an established presence within eBay Stores, will expand what it sells on the site, both at auction and at fixed prices. Along with computers and servers, IBM will offer software.

eBay will run auctions on IBMs Web site and use IBMs WebSphere application server as the platform for V3, which is upgraded technology eBay designed to more quickly add features, programs and businesses to its site.

V3 is set to begin later this year.

Also, there will be a direct link to eBay from, and the companies will explore joint online and offline marketing projects.

Tax Payments Made Easier

It may not be what you wanted, but the U.S. government is making it easier to pay federal taxes online.

The Treasury Department last week launched the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System site—also known as EFTPS-Online—which lets users pay taxes as well as check such things as payment histories and statuses.

The program has been in pilot test mode since January. Taxpayers can sign up for the service at

EFTPS has been around for a while, but individuals and businesses could access it only with client-side technology. Now, all they need is a Web browser.

W3C Supports Media Models

The World Wide Web Consortium, after spending 13 months taking it apart and putting it back together, has recommended a spec for graphics using XML as a base.

SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics, helps developers create graphics that can fit on any size screen and can more easily integrate graphics with documents on the Internet.

At the same time, the W3C recommended an animation spec called SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) Animation, which also uses Extensible Markup Language to enable users to bring together multimedia elements via tags, rather than having to run programming code.