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Face-to-Face: Dinesh Dhamija, CEO Ebookers
Don't look now, but e-travel is booming -- and strangely, its successes are coming only after the dot-bomb and September 11, events that decimated related industries. Matthew Clark spoke with Dinesh Dhamija, CEO of highflying European e-travel firms Ebookers, as the company considers acquisitions, market share and the future.
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For the record 29 July 
Monday, July 29 2002
by Sylvia Leatham

High Court appoints examiner to Twelve Horses | New ruling says linking to
newspaper stories violates EU law The High Court has appointed Dublin accountant Tom Kavanagh as an interim
examiner at technology company Twelve Horses Ltd. Company CEO David Malone
said in an affidavit that the business of the company was essentially sound. He
said that were it not for the "irrecoverability" of a loan to US subsidiary
Twelve Horses Inc of USD7.6 million and difficulties experienced with the
management team in the US, the Irish company would in fact be solvent. Funding
for the examinership could be financed by available cash balances, together with
the collection of debts and payments to be made by USA Investment Partners,
Malone added. In addition, a number of directors had undertaken to underwrite
short-term cash requirements up to EUR100,000.

The EU Commission has established a Radio Spectrum Policy Group and a
European Regulators Group. The two advisory groups will assist the Commission in
the development of the Internal Market for the Information Society. The Radio
Spectrum Policy Group will assist and advise the Commission on radio spectrum
policy issues, on the co-ordination of policy approaches and on harmonised
conditions with regard to the availability and efficient use of radio spectrum.
Radio spectrum corresponds to radio waves which allow the transmission of mobile
and fixed wireless communications. The European Regulators Group will act as an
advisory group of independent national regulatory authorities to assist and
advise the Commission in consolidating the Internal Market for electronic
communications networks and services.

Linking to stories on a newspaper's Web site using a search engine violates
European Union law, according to a recent ruling by judges in Germany. The case,
brought to Munich's Upper Court by German newspaper Mainpost against search
engine NewsClub, could set a legal precedent for search engines across the
EU. Mainpost charges that NewsClub violated the "Database Directive" law by
searching through and linking directly to Mainpost content. The Database
Directive protects against the "unfair extraction" of materials contained in a
database, specifically mentioning downloading or hyperlinking as examples of
prohibited extraction methods. Legal experts believe that if the ruling is
upheld, it could easily become a firm legal precedent across the European Union,
limiting the information search engines are allowed to provide to their users.

IBM is providing enhanced voice recognition technology for a new
navigation system that will be a feature in some 2003 Honda Accords. The "Touch
by Voice" navigation system will allow drivers to ask for directions and hear
responses over the existing car audio system. The system has a vocabulary of
about 150 English-language commands and can recognise a range of accents. The new
Accord will include the system, which is powered by IBM's Embedded ViaVoice
technology and software developed jointly by IBM and Honda R&D.

An Australian court has given Sony PlayStation owners the right to use
code-breaking chips in their consoles to play imported and copied games. The
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission hailed the ruling as a victory for
consumers because the regional coding of games and DVDs limited consumer choice
and access to competitively priced goods. The judgment by the federal court
contrasts with recent rulings in Britain and Canada, where Sony won copyright
infringement cases against people using so-called mod chips to bypass regional
coding. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia said it was considering an appeal.

Malaysian schoolchildren and teachers are to be allowed to use pirated software
under a radical plan being considered by the government, according to vnunet.com.
Malaysia's Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs is considering
granting permission to schools to use pirated software for educational purposes.
Malaysia's Sunday Star newspaper reported that Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
believes that the use of pirated software would increase computer literacy among
schoolchildren. Many observers see the move as an attempt by the government to
cut the costs of installing software in schools, and software manufacturers have
said they are concerned that a government would endorse any form of piracy.

Walt Disney Internet Group and KG Telecom have entered into an
agreement to distribute Disney Mobile wireless content to KG Telecom wireless
subscribers in China. KG Telecom is the first telecom operator to launch the
Disney Mobile service on the i-mode platform in the Chinese market. The agreement
allows KG Telecom's wireless Internet-enabled mobile phone customers in Taiwan to
subscribe for downloadable content such as screensavers and ringtones featuring
Disney characters.

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