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Sunday, February 27, 2005

E-Commerce Times

FireFox Update Released

Mozilla released an update for their Firefox browser, which addresses security issues that have been brought to the public since its initial launch. The Mozilla Foundation encourages all users to download the update, which is available now on all platforms at "Regular security updates are essential for maintaining a safe browsing experience for our users," said Chris Hofmann, director of engineering for the Mozilla Foundation. "The Mozilla Foundation has developed a community of users and developers who continuously provide feedback on Mozilla software, and as a result of that constant vigilance, we are able to provide quick and effective responses to security vulnerabilities." The security update for Firefox includes several fixes to guard against spoofing and arbitrary code execution.
Mozilla releases Firefox security update CNET
Firefox Patch Fixes Vulnerabilities And Crashes Information Week
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Friday, February 25, 2005

NewsFactor Network

Search For Cell Phones & Accessories
Enter Your Phone Model:

Computer Virus Branding Itself As Message From FBI

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning that a computer virus is being spread via e-mails that purport to be from the FBI. The e-mails show that they have come from an address and tell recipients that they have accessed illegal websites. The messages warn that their internet use has been monitored by the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center. An attachment in the e-mail contains the virus, the FBI said. The message asks recipients to click on the attachment and answer some questions about their internet use. But rather than being a questionnaire, the attachment contains a virus that infects the recipient's computer, according to the agency. It is not clear what the virus does once it has infected a computer.Users are warned never to open attachment from unsolicited e-mails or from people they do not know.

  • Install anti-virus software
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Install a personal firewall
  • Use Windows updates to patch security holes
  • Do not open e-mail messages that look suspicious
  • Do not click on e-mail attachments you were not expecting

"Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner," the FBI said in a statement. The bureau is investigating the phoney e-mails. The agency earlier this month shut down accounts, used to communicate with the public, because of a security breach. A spokeswoman said the two incidents appear to be unrelated.
Technology: Security warning over 'FBI virus' Keralanext
Fake FBI Email Contains Virus WebProNews - Boost Marketing - - St. George Daily Spectrum - all 259 related »
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Monday, February 21, 2005

Finance Gates

Mobile Phone Virus Surfaces in US

The world's first mobile phone virus "in the wild" has spread to the United States from its birthplace in the Philippines eight months ago, a security research firm said on Friday. The virus, called Cabir, has spread slowly into 12 countries and marks the beginning of the mobile phone virus era, which could one day disrupt the lives of many of the world's 1.5 billion mobile phone users. The biggest impact of the relatively innocuous virus, found in about 15 variations so far, is draining mobile phone batteries, said Mikko Hypponen, director of Finnish anti-virus research company F-Secure. Hypponen said Cabir was found on Monday in a technology gadgets store in Santa Monica, California, when a passing techie spotted a telltale sign on the screen of a phone in the store. "It's interesting (the Cabir variant) has now been found in the United States, but it's not the end of the world," said Hypponen. The mobile-virus threat will grow in the future as virus-writers become more sophisticated and phones standardize on technologies that make it easier for viruses to spread across not just specific devices but the whole industry. The danger is small at the moment, in part because of the range of handheld technologies. This is unlike the personal computer world dominated by the Windows operating system made by Microsoft Corp.. Also, many handheld device makers have recently released new mobile phones equipped with anti-virus software. The store owner's phone had also been infected, Hypponen said. Both devices were Nokia 6600 smart phones, which combine phone and computer functions, like e-mail. Nokia is the world's biggest mobile phone maker. Analysts say the various features in smart phones make them more vulnerable to viruses than voice-only phones. Hypponen said it was likely other devices in the area were also infected by Cabir, although there was no confirmation of that. Unlike computer viruses that spread quickly around the world via the Internet, Cabir spreads slowly because it travels only over short distances through a wireless technology known as Bluetooth. It also requires a user to restart the phone after it has been exposed for the virus to take hold. In cases where Cabir spread to different countries, an infected phone has typically been carried by the user to another country. Cabir has been found in countries ranging from China to the United Kingdom. In November, another virus program known as "Skulls" aimed at advanced mobile phones was sent to security firms, not to consumers, as a so-called "proof of concept" to alert them of the virus writer's capability.
Symbian worm escapes
Cabir mobile worm invades US
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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Turkish Press

US Newspaper Chains Pay Up for Web Companies

Newspaper publishers, often seen as stodgy and slow-growing, will pay whatever it takes to grab a bigger piece of the fast-growing online advertising market, if two recent deals are any indication. The New York Times Co.'s $410 million buyout of, announced on Thursday, and Dow Jones & Co. Inc.'s. $463 million purchase of financial Web site MarketWatch Inc. have raised concerns because the deals are much more richly valued than traditional newspaper acquisitions. Analysts say the prices may be what newspaper companies must pay if they want to bulk up their Internet operations. Few Internet content companies are for sale and publishers are jumping on what they can find. Analysts say The New York Times, which is buying from magazine publisher Primedia Inc., is paying a heavy price for the consumer-focused Web site by virtually any measure. Primedia is getting 30 times's 2004 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a key industry measure known as EBITDA. The New York Times said that multiple falls to 23 based on 2005 projections of financial results. In contrast, newspaper chain Lee Enterprises Inc. recently agreed to pay about 13.5 times EBITDA in its $1.4 billion buyout of Pulitzer Inc., one of the biggest newspaper deals in recent years. Internet is growing much more quickly than newspapers, which have been mired in an ad slump over the last several years and are struggling with declines in readership. The Internet is the fastest-growing advertising outlet, even though the dollars are minuscule compared with other big media like television and newspapers. In other recent deals, The Washington Post Co. recently bought Web magazine Slate from Microsoft Corp. to get more online readers and ads. The company did not disclose the purchase price, which some have estimated at less than $20 million. More deals are expected. Possible targets include financial news site, which recently hired bankers to consider options that include a sale. Ryan Jacob, portfolio manager of the $70 million Jacob Internet Fund, said other attractive companies that could be eyed as acquisitions include CNET Networks Inc., which operates a technology news site, and women-oriented iVillage Inc.. CNET and iVillage appeal to advertisers as they target specific audiences, said Jacob, whose fund owns small stakes in both. Analysts say that while premium Internet companies may be commanding high prices, newspaper chains also must prove to investors that these deals pay off. The agreement is "a major 'show me story"' for The New York Times, Credit Suisse First Boston analyst William Drewry said in a research report to clients.
It's Time Motley Fool
The Times Company Acquires for $410 Million New York Times
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Monday, February 14, 2005

Turkish Press

S&P says may cut Verizon, raise MCI on acquisition

Standard & Poor's on Monday said it may cut its ratings of Verizon Communications Inc. and raise its rating of MCI Inc., citing the Baby Bell's planned acquisition of MCI. According to S&P, Verizon's long-term corporate credit rating could be downgraded from currently "A-plus" to not lower than "A". About $39 billion in Verizon debt was affected. S&P mentioned it may raise MCI's ratings, including its "B-plus" corporate credit rating. About $6 billion of MCI's debt was affected, S&P said.
Verizon Buys MCI KSL-TV
Verizon's Bundles of Joy
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Xtra News


Chinese in across China and the world have been celebrating the advent of the traditional Lunar New Year's eve on Tuesday night and the ensuing week-long holiday, saying goodbye to the year of Monkey and welcome the year of Rooster. Hundreds of millions of people have returned home after onerous trips before the new year's eve, the most important time for family reunion even for members living or working afar. Wednesday was also a special day for Tibetan. According to the traditional Tibetan calendar, the day is also the New Year's Day of the year of Wooden Rooster. In southwest China, Tibetan families gathered together and had a special wheaten dish, "Gutu", which is cooked with mutton, carrot, and beans, while praying for good luck in the new year. Despite regional or ethnic differences, most Chinese awaited the new year in front of the television while watching a five-hour TV performance produced by China Central Television. The gala party in fact has become a "course" of their family dinner since it debuted in 1983. Since 1998 the show has been broadcast live over the Internet, as well as on CCTV's two international channels, offering real-time entertainment for all Chinese across the world. At midnight, burst of firecrackers reverberated across the country. Traditionally, it is believed that the noise could scare away evil spirits. In addition, short message service (SMS) have replaced telephone calls and postcards to become the most popular way for new year's greeting to the friends and relatives. It Over 10 billion greeting messages may have be sent during the seven-day lunar New Year holiday season which began on Feb. 9. The increasing number of Chinese choose to travel during the Spring Festival holiday season. Travel agencies in Beijing alone organized 280,000 people to tour overseas last year. The rooster sign is the tenth in a 12-year cycle on the Chinesecalendar that starts with rat, followed by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and ends with pig.
Chinese say goodbye to "monkey", welcome "rooster" Xinhua
Chinese celebrate Year of the Rooster: New Kerala
Chinese wave goodbye to the monkey and welcome the rooster Channel News Asia
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

BBC News

Ask Jeeves buys Bloglines

The Internet search company Ask Jeeves is announcing that they've acquired Bloglines, a well-known free web-based RSS aggregation tool for an undisclosed sum of money. The move confirms rumors that have been around since Saturday. Jim Lanzone, senior Vice President of search properties at Ask Jeeves has been a Bloglines user since its early days and thought the service would would fit well with what Ask Jeeves already provides. "This acquisition is more of an investment to allow Bloglines to achieve their roadmap more quickly," Lanzone said. According to Bloglines founder Mark Fletcher, the deal has been in the works since last September. Now Ask Jeeves has no plans to change anything about Bloglines offerings. It will be available at and remain free. While many know and use Bloglines as an RSS aggregation service, it offers a wide array of tools including a weblog and RSS search engine that Ask Jeeves hopes to turn into a "world class" resource using their Teoma technology. A weblog publishing platform including an option to quickly clip and annotate items from weblogs and feeds. Blogs are hosted on the Bloglines server. A directory of RSS feeds. An option to access your email discussion lists using the Bloglines aggregator while simultaneously reducing spam to your primary email account. User Interfaces in six languages. The LawLibTech blog offers an excellent Bloglines tutorial. Today's acquisition also fits excellently with Ask Jeeves recently discussed mobile search plans. Bloglines works with WAP enabled devices. The acquisition should could help with Ask Jeeves getting some attention and credibility in the blogging, RSS, and "early adopter" communities where Bloglines has a very large and loyal user base. Bloglines founder Mark Fletcher began the service in June 2003. He sold another online service he started, eGroups, to Yahoo in September 2000. The acquisition is another step toward Ask Jeeves rebuilding a great brand in search it originally had but which faltered between around 1999-2002. Ask Jeeves has moved from a lackluster web search provider to a well-rounded search service. The turnaround began with Ask Jeeves' purchase of Teoma in September 2001 and ending the idea of using humans to pre-suppose thousands of question and answer sets. In 2003, Ask Jeeves was one of the first large web search providers to jump on what is now a growing trend of providing direct answers on search results pages. 2004 was a busy year. Not only did Ask Jeeves trim down and get a makeover, but the search engine launched a local search product (using data provided via a partnership with CitySearch), introduced My Jeeves, a personal search product and continued developing and releasing new "Smart Answer" options including Famous People Search. Further Ask Jeves debuted a desktop search product. While many people know that Ask Jeeves is a search tool, it's often associated with the poor service that Jeeves previously provided. Acquisitions of a high quality service like Bloglines, should help the company get many more people to take a look at the work that they've been doing for the past four years. Welcome, Bloglines! from the Ask Jeeves blog provides the tale of the purchase from Ask Jeeves vice president Jim Lanzone, along with how Ask hopes to build with Bloglines to create a great blog search engine. Bloglines has a FAQ and information on the purchase here: Letter to Bloglines SubscribersAsk Jeeves Officially Acquires Bloglines Boost MarketingAsk Jeeves snaps up Bloglines
Ask Jeeves Officially Acquires Bloglines Boost Marketing
Ask Jeeves snaps up Bloglines
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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Daily Telegraph

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"Sideways" scores knockout at SAG awards

Modest wine country comedy "Sideways" has staged a surprise knockout over favourites "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Aviator" by winning the top prize for best ensemble acting at the Screen Actors Guild awards, an important pre-Oscar test. Hilary Swank won the best actress award on Saturday for her performance as a gritty boxer in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby", and Jamie Foxx was named best actor for his pitch-perfect performance as soul singer Ray Charles in "Ray" and "Million Dollar Baby" at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild. Morgan Freeman took the best supporting actor award Saturday for his role as Swank's gym manager in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby", said Cate Blanchett picked up the best supporting actress trophy for playing Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator". The cast of director Alexander Payne's bittersweet comedy "Sideways" won the award for best ensemble. Geoffrey Rush ("The Life and Death of Peter Sellers") and Glenn Close ("The Lion in Winter") won trophies for best actor and actress in a mini-series or TV movie. In an emotional moment, Elaine Orbach took the stage to a standing ovation to accept the award for best actor in a dramatic series for her late husband, Jerry Orbach, who was the crusty homicide detective Lenny Briscoe on television's "Law & Order". She talked about his love of acting on stage and screen, mentioning his roles in Broadway hits like "Chicago" and "42nd Street" and offered his motto: "Never leave a hit show."Jennifer Garner was named best actress in a TV dramatic series for her work as the super agent in "Alias", and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" was named best TV drama. Teri Hatcher took the award for best actress in a comedy. The cast of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" won the ensemble award for best drama and that of "Desperate Housewives" won as best comedy series cast. Australian Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush was best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his portrayal of conflicted comedian Peter Sellers in "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers". Glenn Close won best actress in a TV movie or miniseries playing Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter". Tony Shalhoub won the award for best male comic actor in a TV series for his performance as an obsessive-compulsive detective in "Monk".
Jamie Foxx, Swank Win SAG Awards; Oscars Next? andPOP
'Sideways' Scores Knockout at SAG Awards Reuters
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Saturday, February 05, 2005


G7 sees robust growth, issues fresh appeal to China

Finance officials from the Group of Seven won renewed Chinese backing for exchange rate flexibility and said the United States and Europe had a shared duty to promote balanced global growth. But Chinese authorities declined to set out a time-table to make the Renminbi more flexible on the world's money markets. They had not come under international pressure to revalue the yuan. Major nations like the United States have urged China to allow its currency to rise and the Chinese foreign exchange regime was also in focus at the Group of Seven meeting. Li Ruogu, Chinese central bank deputy governor told that China is determined to move towards a flexible exchange rate but without a timetable. When asked if China will widen the currency band or swap the peg for a currency basket, Li said, China will do whatever is possible. The Renminbi has been pegged at about 8.28 to the dollar since the mid 1990s and critics argue this is too low and gives Chinese exports an unfair competitive advantage. China has countered that it will move to a more flexible currency regime at some stage but only when it has reformed its shaky financial system, a pledge repeated again at the G7 meeting of finance ministers in London. China has already relaxed some curbs on foreign exchange transactions, including allowing some service firms to retain more foreign exchange earnings, and made it much easier for multinationals to deal in hard currency. The central bank has pledged to push ahead with currency, interest rate and banking reform in 2005, but repeated its policy of keeping the yuan "basically stable".
Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui told Reuters that central bankers at a breakfast on Saturday discussed the global economic situation including that of China. Asked how China's economy was performing and whether there was a concern it might be in for a sharp slowdown or hard landing, Fukui said, "a landing but not a hard landing." He said they did not discuss bank restructuring issues in China or any progress the US had made on its currency account deficit but focused instead on the outlook for the global economy. The World Bank in its quarterly report on China released on Friday said China's economy is showing signs of cooling, but acceleration risks remain and Beijing should be ready to raise interest rates again if needed. China's central bank governor said on Friday he expected the Chinese economy to grow by between eight and nine percent in 2005. Economic growth in 2004 was 9.5%.

Greenspan Predicts Trade Gap Ease, G7 Worries Boost Marketing
China Says Considering FX Improvement Reuters
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Thursday, February 03, 2005

China Daily

US lifts interest rates

The interest rates are going up in the US again as the Federal Reserve acts to keep a lid on inflation. The central bank's move is the sixth successive rate increase and takes the headline rate to 2.5%. t's six down and seven to go. Or maybe only three more interest-rate increases, depending on which forecaster you talk to. While there was a great deal of unanimity among economists concerning the Fed's first six increases, there is a split over how much higher Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues will drive rates in their quest to find neutral. That is the point where interest rates are neither stimulating the economy nor slowing it down. Banks' prime lending rate, which moves in lockstep with the federal funds rate, rose another quarter point with Wednesday's Fed rate increase, to 5.5%. While the prime rate, used for many short-term consumer and business loans, is up from a 46-year low of 4%, it still is at an attractive level for borrowers. The federal funds rate is more than double the 1% funds rate in effect before the Fed started tightening rates last June, but 2.5% is still low by historical standards. Given the low level at which the Fed started raising interest rates, the increases haven't begun to pinch borrowers very much. And long-term rates, which are influenced by Fed actions but set by markets, have actually been trending lower over the past eight months. Rates on 30-year mortgages fell for a fourth straight week last week to 5.66%, according to a Freddie Mac survey, lower than the 6.25% level where they were before the Fed began raising rates eight months ago. For the year, analysts believe that 30-year mortgages will probably rise by about 1% point to around 6.5% by December, an increase that likely will trim sales of both new and existing homes by about 3% this year. Such a reduction would follow four consecutive years of record sales levels for both new and existing homes. On Wall Street, the Fed's action helped boost stocks. The Dow Jones industrials gained 44.85 points to close at 10,596.79. Short-term rates, which are linked to the Fed actions, will likely move up more this year.
Fed continues to raise interest rates Duluth News Tribune
Update 17: Fed Boosts Interest Rates by Quarter-Point Forbes
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

China Daily

Investors gaga for Google earnings

Shares of Google surged 7.3% to a record after the company's fourth-quarter profit rose sevenfold and sales topped $1 billion for the first time. The shares rose $14.06 to $205.96 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, after earlier soaring to a record $216.80. Google has more than doubled the $85 a share fetched at its August initial public offering. The share price surge pushed Google's market value to more than $56 billion, about $7 billion more than Yahoo and exceeding EBay $52 billion. Google's value is now bigger than eight members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Higher prices for advertising linked to search results helped Google generate increased profits. The company also kept a bigger slice of revenue from ads it distributes to other Internet sites. Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt is capitalizing on demand for Internet ads by signing up more partners to Google's AdSense network and building new products such as Google e-mail that displays more ads. Fourth-quarter net income rose to a record $204.1 million, or 71 cents a share, from $27.3 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement yesterday. Sales doubled to $1.03 billion from $512.2 million. Profit excluding compensation costs was 92 cents a share, topping the 77-cent average estimate of 21 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs, fees that Google pays to other Web sites that display ads it sells, was $653.8 million, beating the $590 million estimate. The surge in Google's stock price since it first sold shares to the public has catapulted its two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, into the ranks of the world's richest people. At a price of $205.96 a share, Brin is worth about $7.66 billion and Page is worth about $7.68 billion. Brin held 37.2 million shares and Page held 37.3 million shares, according to the Washington Service, which tracks insider trading. Bethesda, Maryland-based Washington Service cited regulatory filings of Jan. 24 for Page and Dec. 29 for Brin. Demand for advertising is strong enough that customers will pay more, Schmidt said yesterday in a telephone interview. The shares are now valued at 59.6 times estimated 2005 per- share earnings, compared with 68 times for Yahoo. That Google and Yahoo are priced relative to earnings stands in contrast to that of the Internet bubble when analysts including Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker justified valuing unprofitable Internet companies by counting how many viewers, or ``eyeballs,'' their Web sites attracted. Sales from Google's own site more than doubled to $530 million, accounting for 51% of total revenue, the company said. Revenue from sites that Google supplies with ads rose 92% to $490 million, or 48% of total revenue. Excluding fees Google pays to sites that display its ads, revenue from these affiliate sites almost tripled in the fourth quarter from a year ago, according to Goldman's Noto. Google is devoting more time to attracting large customers and their advertising agencies, Page said yesterday on a conference call with analysts. The company is conducting training programs with agencies and has reorganized its sales force into groups targeting specific industries. Beyond search-linked ads on its own site, Google also places ads on sites including Time Warner Inc.'s America Online, search engine Ask Jeeves Inc., and publications such as the online New York Times and online journals called Web logs, or blogs. Google passes on part of the revenue it receives from advertisers to these sites when users click on the ads. In the latest quarter, the company paid 77% of this revenue to those sites, compared with 79% in the third quarter and 85% in the fourth quarter last year. Google's revenue rise in the fourth quarter compares with Yahoo's 62% gain. Yahoo on Jan. 18 said profit jumped almost fivefold.
Google in November boosted its share of worldwide searches by 3% points to 47%, according to data from ComScore Networks, which monitors Web use. Yahoo's share increased 1 point to 27%, while Microsoft's MSN and Time Warner Inc.'s Web services fell 2 points and 4 points, respectively.

Google Shares Hit New High After Upbeat Q4 Report TechNewsWorld
Google profit, revenue rocket San Jose Mercury News (Subscription)
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Microsoft Broadens Launch of Search Engine

Microsoft has unveiled the finished version of its own search engine, MSN Search. The now formally launched MSN Search is the first engine developed from the ground up by Microsoft, using a proprietary index. The revamped engine indexes more pages than before, can give direct answers to factual questions, and features tools to help people create detailed queries. Microsoft faces challenges establishing itself as a serious search site because of the intense competition for queries. Google still reigns supreme as the site people turn to most often when they go online to answer a query, keep up with news or search for images. Separating Microsoft's launch from other launches is the large advertising campaign expected from the boys at Redmond. Currently, the redesigned homepage features ads and links asking visitors to take a tour of the official engine. Accompanying the official launch was a letter from Bill Gates. Microsoft is keen to make its home-grown search engine a significant rival to Google. To generate its corpus of data, Microsoft has indexed 5 billion webpages and claims to update its document index every two days - more often than rivals. The Microsoft search engine can answer specific queries directly rather than send people to a page that might contain the answer. For its direct answer feature, Microsoft is calling on its Encarta encyclopaedia to provide answers to questions about definitions, facts, calculations, conversions and solutions to equations. Tools sitting alongside the MSN search engine allow users to refine results to specific websites, countries, regions or languages. Microsoft is also using so-called "graphic equalisers" that let people adjust the relevance of terms to get results that are more up-to-date or more popular. The company said that user feedback from earlier test versions had been used to refine the workings of the finished system. The test, or beta, version of the MSN search engine unveiled in November had a few teething troubles. On its first day many new users keen to try it were greeted with a page that said the site had been overwhelmed. MSN engine points to Google pages - Entering New Battle, Microsoft Launches Own Search Engine - Big News - WebProNews - Information World Review - Redmond
Melissa Etheridge
We inform about top news in the wired space, social issues, politics, technology, finance, economics and life style and have a focus on the Chinese world of the internet in the era of information and communication technology. Small Business Ideas Forum

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