The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a program called InfraGuard, which it hopes will "expand direct contacts with private-sector infrastructure owners and operators" to promote sharing of information about cyberintrusions and vulnerabilities. Good luck. The private sector is reluctant to give such sensitive information to government agencies for fear it might leak or be requested via Freedom of Information Act laws.
X Marks the Spot
Kicking off its boldest bid to capture the lead in digital entertainment beyond the PC, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox, its PC-based video game system slated to ship in the fall. The company was also expected to officially launch Ultimate TV, an interactive TV service available through DirecTVs satellite network that provides Internet access and is able to digitally record up to 35 hours of video programming.
Rest in Peace
Mercata, an online retailer that promised lower prices through group purchases, is now chilling at the dot-com morgue. The Bellevue, Wash., company said it was shutting down a day after it dropped plans for an initial public offering of stock.
FCC Eyes Spectrum
The Federal Communications Commission officially identified five spectrum bands for third-generation wireless services. Difficult decisions lie ahead because the bands are currently in use. Now its up to the wireless industry, the FCC and the Department of Commerce to clear the spectrum or find a way to share it so that wireless operators can deliver high-speed multimedia services.
Network Associates Inc.s new chief executive is promising a "maniacal focus on the customer" as part of a strategy to rebuild customer loyalty. However, George Samenuk said that he does not plan to change NAIs overall business strategy. Samenuk, a 22-year IBM veteran, has parachuted into the security software vendor at a time when its relations with customers, channel partners and shareholders are sorely stretched.
Happy R US
The alliance between Amazon.com and Toysrus.com appears to have paid off, as the online toy site tripled its sales for the 2000 holiday season, according to parent company Toys "R" Us. Toysrus.coms revenue jumped to $124 million — from $39 million in 1999 — for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 30.