The Buzz: June 24, 2002

Senator: Allow Laptops on Floor; Numbers Bleak in Tech Industry; Tilion's Doors Nearly Closed

Senator: Allow Laptops on Floor

When Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., was a freshman senator, he wanted to bring a laptop onto the Senate floor, but the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration rejected his request, saying it violated long-standing rules.

Enzi is now renewing his quest, noting that laptops have advanced in capabilities and shrunk in size. In a letter to the committee released last week, Enzi said that they wouldnt disrupt proceedings or damage furniture in the chamber—both concerns raised five years ago—and that laptops have become an important means of communication and planning for many senators.

Enzi further noted that the use of laptops was critical for many senators when they were forced to evacuate their offices last fall due to the threat of anthrax attacks.

Numbers Bleak in Tech Industry

Theres talk that the economy is reviving, but the news coming out of the high-tech industry is still rough. Last week, Oracle reported that fourth-quarter earnings dropped more than 23 percent from a year ago, with revenues decreasing from $3.3 billion to $2.8 billion.

At the same time, AMD and Apple both lowered their revenue forecasts. AMD said that slower-than-expected sales would result in a "substantial operating loss" for the second quarter, which ends June 30. Meanwhile, Apple dropped quarterly revenue projections about 10 percent for its third quarter, which ends June 30.

Tilions Doors Nearly Closed

In early 2000, Novell vice chairman Chris Stone left his post to found Tilion, a supply chain software company. Stone left Tilion this year to return to Novell, and last week, the company closed its doors. Tilion laid off 20 employees, leaving President and CEO Peter Shields, the chief financial officer and a handful of engineers to sell or merge the companys technology assets, said a spokesman.