Dertouzos Was Web Pioneer
Michael Dertouzos, the MIT professor who played a key role in pushing the Internets presence beyond the academic and governmental realm and into the mainstream, died last week. He was 64.
Dertouzos, who since 1974 headed MITs Laboratory for Computer Science, helped establish the World Wide Web Consortium in 1993.
The consortium is the central agency in the development of the Web.
During his career, Dertouzos pushed to make computers more accessible to the nontechnical masses. It was one of these efforts, the X Window System, that helped Tim Berners-Lee develop the Web, at first for scientists.
In 1999, the LCS took the lead in a $50 million project aimed at making computers easier to use. The initiative, called Oxygen, is designed to make computers “as natural a part of our environment as the air we breathe.”
Gateway Cuts Global Force
Faced with a life-or-death struggle in the highly competitive PC industry, Gateway is retrenching.
The computer maker last week said it was closing operations in the Pacific Rim and probably Europe, a move that will cut 25 percent of its work force, or about 4,600 jobs.
Gateway, the fourth-largest U.S. PC maker, has been hit hard by the steep slowdown of computer sales and the ongoing price war generated by top manufacturer Dell.
It also has been hobbled by its strong reliance on consumer PC sales, the hardest-hit slice of the market.
Gateway executives said they expected the rest of the year to be as difficult financially as the first half.
eBay Premiers on Television
Already the king of online auctioning, eBay is about to hit the small screen.
eBay and Columbia Tri-star Television are teaming up on a daily syndicated TV show that will feature stories behind some of the millions of items sold on eBay and similar venues.
The program will also feature cross-promotions with local stations, including online links between the stations Web sites and eBay activities.
The show is scheduled to debut in the fall of next year.