EV-DO, EV-Don't; Spammer slammer; Gates Peoplesoft

Top Stories: - EV-DO, EV-Don't - Sell to spammer, go to slammer - Gates considered buying into PeopleSoft

Top Stories:

- EV-DO, EV-Don't

- Sell to spammer, go to slammer

- Gates considered buying into PeopleSoft

- EV-DO, EV-Don't

Telecom sparked a flurry of media interest on Wednesday when it announced its planned T3G high speed data service. The service will use the EV-DO (evolution data optimised) platform, the next step up in the CDMA migration path from CDMA1x, which Telecom's 027 network runs on. T3G will be fast - 2.4mbit/s downstream is the theoretical maximum and 500kbit/s is what you can expect in the real world. Upload speeds will be about the same as CDMA1x's theoretical max, 153kbit/s. Applications that will be able to run on T3G include video messaging, push-to-talk (when you talk to multiple recipients on your mobile) and downloading video etc. All very nice, but as Telecom concurs, pretty much targeted at business users. Indeed, the roll-out plan will initially target metropolitan areas and places like Taupo and Queenstown, where conventions and corporate retreats are held. Telecom is pouring $40 million into the roll-out, but is coy on what customers will pay to use it. Users will need to get a new data card or handset, though. TelstraClear, naturally, is unimpressed by Telecom's plans, saying T3G will be used by high-end customers only. TelstraClear says until issues like number portability, roaming and mobile termination are sorted out, it can only make limited progress with its own 3g network plans. Vodafone, which is also building its own 3g network, isn't quaking in its boots at the thought of T3G; Russell Stanners, Vodafone's head of business, says he welcomes Telecom's move and considers it an endorsement of Vodafone's own 3g aspirations. As vocal Australian telecoms analyst Paul Budde points out, the day when New Zealand has widely available, cheap, bandwidth-intensive 3g apps like Japan and Korea do is some time away. Then again, those countries have much bigger customer bases and greater population densities than us. As for how T3G and Vodafone and TelstraClear's 3g networks turn out, it's early days yet - watch this space.

Telecom to deliver higher-speed 3g mobile services to New Zealanders this year

- Sell to spammer, go to slammer

All the spam filters in the world can't stop someone deliberately harvesting millions of email addresses and selling them to spammers. That's what an America Online employee and his accomplice have been charged with trying to do in the US. Jason Smathers, a software engineer at AOL and an accomplice, Sean Dunaway, were arrested earlier this month and have been charged with conspiring to steal AOL's entire subscriber list and sell it to spammers. AOL is the biggest ISP in the US and its subscriber list runs to 92 million addresses, which means even a 0.1% response rate would yield a lucrative return on investment for online peddlers of penis enlargement pills. Smathers and Dunaway face up to five years in prison and/or a $US250,000 fine if convicted.

- AOL employee arrested on spam charges

- Gates considered buying into PeopleSoft

As if the unearthing of merger talks between Microsoft and SAP wasn't enough, the US Justice Department's case against Oracle threw up another surprise last week. Just after Oracle announced its hostile bid for PeopleSoft last year, Bill Gates emailed Steve Ballmer suggesting Microsoft buy a minority stake in PeopleSoft, to become a "White Knight" and shut Oracle out. The email envisaged the Microsoft buy-in would "bolster [PeopleSoft's] independence" and the value for Microsoft would be "a modest platform commitment," from PeopleSoft. What could that mean? PeopleSoft has been busy porting many of its applications to Linux in the past year, including the flagship Enterprise One and you have to wonder whether Microsoft, as a PeopleSoft shareholder, would have liked that. (PeopleSoft announced its Linux porting plans in May 2003, before Gates thought of buying in). Also, the suggested buy-in and thwarting of Oracle would have served Microsoft by preventing the likely migration of PeopleSoft customers running SQL Server to Oracle databases if Oracle gained control of PeopleSoft. As it happened, Microsoft didn't buy into PeopleSoft and Oracle's bid is looking less and less likely to succeed, so all these scenarios are mere "what ifs". But they're certainly interesting ones.

Gates mulled bailing out PeopleSoft

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