The Buzz: July 16, 2001

Webvan, the most pro-minent online grocer, has made its last delivery.

Webvan Breaks Down

Webvan, the most pro-minent online grocer, has made its last delivery.

The company, which has been struggling financially for months after rapidly expanding over the past year, last week shut down operations and indicated it will seek bankruptcy protection.

Soon after the announcement, the NASDAQ halted trading of Webvans battered stock, and the company closed its Web site.

Over the past few months, Webvan has been shuttering operations, closing several centers. Almost 3,000 employees have lost their jobs. Ex-CEO George Shaheen, as part of his contract, will collect $375,000 a year for the rest of his life.

Strange Brew in the Desert

An odd group of speakers descended on Las Vegas last weekend for Def Con, the annual hacker sock hop that has evolved into a must-attend security event.

The roster of Def Con 9 speakers included crypto guru Bruce Schneier; Peter Shipley, a penetration-testing expert; and well-known author James Bamford.

The lineup also featured hackers and crackers with names such as Freaky, ph0tek, Simple Nomad, Shatter, K2 and D-Krypt.

The speakers held forth in sessions with titles straight from a security specialists nightmares: "Writing Back Doors," "Principles of Cyber Anarchy" and "Grabbing User Credentials via W2K ODBC Libraries."

The only thing missing was a class on spotting the numerous federal law enforcement agents who were surely in attendance.

NFL Hits Net Pay Dirt

Professional sports leagues continue to take advantage of the Internet.

The NFL inked a deal last week with AOL Time Warner, and Viacom that some reports tagged at $110 million.

Under the deal, SportsLine will produce the site, and AOL Time Warner will market the site. That marketing will include promotions on CBS and other Viacom-owned outlets.