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Monday, May 21, 2001

 Pune shines

Pune is likely to have the biggest software technology park in India. An experiment in private participation, it is being promoted by 120 original landholders of Magarpatta. The agricultural community has pooled the planned 400 acres of land for the project that is to come up on the Pune-Sholapur road at Hadaspur, reports The Hindu.

Cyber City Magarpatta, as the software park will be called, when completed, is proposed to have three million square feet of modular office space and several residential blocks. While it is said the site will be operational in six months, the first phase of the Rs 800 crore project is expected to be completed by 2003.

AMD processor

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp’s main competitor in the PC microprocessor market, unveiled on Tuesday last two new chips optimised for notebooks, the fastest growing area for PCs, reports Reuters.

Athlon 4, the California-based company’s first one-gigahertz mobile processor, will be able to extend battery life by up to 30 per cent, claimed AMD.

Compaq Computer Corp, the number two US computer maker, released a new 1200-series Presario notebook over the weekend using the new Athlon 4 chip.


Ethical hackers

Hackers are not always feared. They are being welcomed by several companies with rewards ranging form $100 to $1 million to break into their sites or crack their software packages. The catch—IT firms wanting to test their security equipment or hackers challenging their peers.

These contests draw script kiddies (adolescents who use programs they find on the Internet to hack), while the top-shot hackers are lured with fame and recognition, says a Hindustan Times report. There are some 30,000 sites on the Internet offering hacking-related information.

A new breed coming up is of "ethical hackers." They are licensed professionals who test the security systems of an enterprise and give feedback on weaknesses. However, the Indian Information Technology Act does not recognise ethical hacking, so companies here have to use non-manual "vulnerability assessment programs."

Visa dilemma

The spate of IT lay-offs in the USA has left the Administration confused over the rules to apply to the horde of immigrants rendered unemployed. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) considers a worker (out of status) when he loses a job, which mean she has to leave the country. The enormity of the crisis has, however, made the INS go slow on implementing the rules by the book, says a Newsweek report.

Through a series of confusing orders, the INS has conveyed that it will give the workers a chance to either find a new job or get some company to sponsor their visa. Also, the rule that visa holders cannot do part-time work is being ignored as the workers have rents and bills to pay. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see Web designers "waiteressing." On the grace period given, the INS says: "We’re trying to be as generous as we can be within the confines of the existing law."

Infosys holds hope

Undaunted by slowdown, Infosys plans an expenditure of $80 million in the current financial year to add around 1,500 to 2,000 fresh technical workers to its group, reports The Economic Times.

Given the dot.com shakeout, Infosys intends to cut down on its dealings with venture-capital funded companies and be more selective in who it does business with. At the same time, it does not expect to be able to up its billing rates and hopes to increase the volume of business instead.