The Buzz: May 12, 2003

Dell Computer Corp. long ago outgrew the college dorm room where founder Michael Dell started his mail-order PC business.

Dell Drops Computer From Its Name
Michael Dell

Dell Computer Corp. long ago outgrew the college dorm room where founder Michael Dell started his mail-order PC business. The company, now known as Dell Inc., says it has outgrown the name as well.

In a filing of its preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the company said it offers more than computers, and the name should not pigeonhole the company. In addition to PCs, laptops and servers, Dell sells storage devices, printers, other technologies and professional services.

In addition, the name "Dell" is simply so well-known that there is little need for the word "Computer" in the corporate name, the filing said.

The name change will require approval of a majority of Dell shareholders at the companys annual meeting. The Dell board recommended in the proxy an affirmative vote on the question.

3Com Trades Silicon Valley for East Coast

3Com is moving its headquarters to Marlboro, Mass., from Santa Clara, Calif. Company officials said CEO Bruce Claflin and other top executives will move to Massachusetts, although a presence will be maintained in Silicon Valley. The shift will be made shortly after 3Com completes the $100 million sale of its carrier network business to UTStarcom, expected in 30 to 60 days.

Claflin said the move will improve efficiency, in part because "two-thirds of 3Coms U.S opportunity is on the East Coast, and approximately half our sales are in Europe, meaning the majority of our customers and partners are more accessible from Marlboro than Santa Clara."

There is no word on what will become of 3Com Park, formerly Candlestick Park, the home field of the San Francisco 49ers.

Anti-War Group Defaces Security Web Page

A group of pro-Islamic crackers defaced a Web page belonging to Internet Security Systems X-Force research team last week, replacing the pages content with a profane anti-war message.

The security company removed the page from the Internet following the attack. The page, called X-Force Internet Watch, was part of a research project. The page allowed college students to download copies of the companys BlackIce PC Protection, a personal firewall and intrusion detection system.

The ISS page was defaced by a group known as the Unix Security Guards. The group has defaced hundreds of Web sites since the onset of the war against Iraq.

Microsoft Taps Transmeta for Smart Displays

Transmeta announced last week it has been designated by Microsoft as a reference design partner for the next generation of Smart Displays.

Smart Displays are wireless, touch-screen monitors that allow users to access Microsoft Windows XP-based PCs from remote locations in the home or office. The devices connect to PCs from up to 100 feet away via an 802.11b wireless connection.

eBay Hires Former White House Executive

Former White House cyber-security adviser Howard Schmidt is set to become vice president of security at online auction giant eBay this month.

Schmidt, a former Microsoft security executive, will take the eBay job just weeks after resigning from his government post as head of the Presidents Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

The newly created job at eBay will give Schmidt control of the auctioneers infrastructure at a time of intense federal focus on growing Internet fraud and auction scams. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission launched Operation Bidders Beware, targeting 57 Internet scammers.

In an e-mail to colleagues last month, Schmidt said the federal governments move to turn PCIPB responsibilities over to the newly created Department of Homeland Security led to his decision to resign and return to the private sector, according to sources close to the matter.

In February, Schmidt had taken over the duties of former PCIPB Chairman Richard Clarke, who stepped down under similar circumstances.