World Cup office pools go on-line | European Parliament agrees new rules on junk e-mail
Windmill Lane Interactive has launched a "Boys in Green" Office Pool for the World Cup that enables workers to organise their office pool on-line. Instead of pulling names out of a hat, World Cup fans can use the Windmill Lane Web site to run the pool. The site will automatically update scores, group places, results and finalists.
IT skills shortages in the UK are half that of 2001, according to a new report. Although UK employers are continuing to experience a shortage of key technical skills, the number of firms reporting shortages has fallen from 16 percent in 2001 to 8 percent in 2002, according to a quarterly review of the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) labour market by E-skills UK.
VeriSign, a US-based Internet domain registry and security provider, is forcing staff to take at least three paid holidays this quarter and next, while Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems in the US are to shut for a week in July. VeriSign, who implemented the measure to reduce future liabilities, is also considering closing down during the Labor Day or Thanksgiving holidays. HP and Sun have said they will close for the first week of July, in a repeat of the extended 4th of July holiday declared in many Silicon Valley firms last year.
WorldCom's new chief executive officer and president has denied the company is facing bankruptcy. John Sidgmore insisted that reports of the company's spiralling finances and customer attrition rates were wildly misleading, saying, "Right now the public perception of WorldCom and the private perception are at odds." Sidgmore claimed WorldCom was worth around USD32 billion in annual revenue and had 25 million customers.
The European Parliament has agreed new rules on junk e-mail and text messages. The European Parliament decided on a so-called "soft opt-in" policy, whereby users must agree in advance to receive e-mails and text messages in order for a company to send them. A controversial amendment on cookies was removed at the last minute. On-line publishers had feared new legislation would force users to agree every time a cookie was served, but instead users will have to actively opt-out of receiving cookies.
IBM said it has sold workstations to the New Zealand company that does the special effects for the Lord of the Rings movies. IBM will provide more than 150 6580-WEA Intellistation workstations to Oscar-winning Weta Digital, in a deal valued at about USD10 million.