The Buzz: December 16, 2002

IBM last week unveiled what it is calling the world's smallest working silicon transistor.

Teensy-Weensy IBM Transistor

IBM last week unveiled what it is calling the worlds smallest working silicon transistor. With a measure of 6 nanometers in length, the transistor is at least 10 times smaller than transistors in production today, officials said. The silicon body of the transistor is 4-8nm thick but retains the needed capabilities for turning the transistor on and off, IBM said.

The promise of the tiny transistor is that chip makers will be able to put more of them on processors, thereby increasing processor performance.

Capellas Package Still Under Review

The judge overseeing an investigation into WorldComs financial improprieties has called representatives of the company to court this week to discuss the compensation package of new CEO Michael Capellas.

Manhattan federal court Judge Jed Rakoff said in a memo filed last week that he didnt understand how WorldCom could assert that the compensation package would likely be approved by a court-appointed monitor, when the monitor had previously rejected terms of the proposed package. Rakoff said that such an assertion raised concerns over the commitment of new WorldCom management to making reforms at the company.

WorldComs proposed compensation package for Capellas, the former CEO of Compaq and president of Hewlett-Packard, includes a $2 million signing bonus, $1.5 million annual salary and potential 2003 bonus of $1.5 million.

Australian Court to Hear Net Case

Internet publishers are waiting to see the impact of a ruling last week by Australias highest court to hear a defamation suit against a U.S.-based Web site.

The High Court of Australia gave the green light for a suit against New York-based Dow Jones by Australian Joseph Gutnick, who claimed that an article on Dow Jones Barrons Web site defamed him. Gutnick will be allowed to sue Dow Jones in an Australian court.

This is believed to be the first time any nations highest court has ruled on its jurisdiction with regard to articles published on the Internet.