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Monday, September 10, 2001

Encryption broken

The New York Times reported that an anonymous programmer has broken Microsoft's encryption formats. The encryption protection that stops the copying of e-books stored in Microsoft Reader formats have been broken, according to MIT's Technology Review. Microsoft Reader is the software that enables people to read e-books. The software supports five levels of security and the decryption program described by Technology Review defeats level five protection. However, a Microsoft representative said that the claims are just 'rumours'.

ITC's e-chaupal

After its entry into the packaged food segment, tobacco major ITC proposes to link 14 states through the Net for its procurement activities, Hindustan Times reported. The company is looking at an export turnover of Rs 750 crore this year. Out of this, Rs 100 crore is sought to be garnered through procurement via Internet networking. ITC MD Y.C. Deveshwar said through the company's new electronic commerce initiative, e-chaupal would ensure proper storage of agri-commodities apart from facilitating buying and selling of these products.


Virtual labs

Press Trust of India reported that in an ambitious initiative, Chennai-based IT Kids, a leading player in computer education of school children, is in the advanced stages of developing 'virtual laboratories' as an integral part of its software package. 'Virtual laboratories will open up unlimited opportunities for the school kids to do experiments in physics, chemistry and other science subjects in their school curriculum,' V. Suresh Kumar, director of IT Kids (P) Ltd said. He said the project envisaged developing computer software by using which a student could embark upon innumerable laboratory experiments prescribed in the school curriculum under simulated conditions on his computer screen.

Wireless business

A Singapore start-up is gunning for a slice of the lucrative $-350 million wireless-networking business, The Straits Times said. RFNet Technologies, one of the companies spun off by Nanyang Technological University's Network Technology Research Centre, will start selling its high-end equipment for this market next month, taking on established players like Cisco Systems and 3Com. The equipment will be water- resistant and can also be deployed over greater distances. Wireless networking, or wireless local area network (LAN), lets computer users connect to each other and to the Internet without cables or wires.

Best employer

Software major Infosys has topped the ranking for 'IT's best employer' with Hewlett-Packard and Compaq clinching the second and the third slots, according to a Dataquest-IDC India survey published in Times of India. Wipro has, however, slipped in its ranking to eighth position this time from third position in the previous survey. HCL Tech and Cognizant Technology Solutions finished at fourth and fifth positions, the survey said, adding TCS bagged the sixth position in the survey. "However, the going was not all rosy for Infosys. The survey sent out warning signals for the company, which was at a distant second in the survey, well behind IBM India. It was only because IBM chose to stay out of the survey and declined to send in its HR details that Infosys came out on top," it said. But despite this, Infosys has reported the lowest attrition rate and was rated as the 'dream company' by 25 per cent of all those interviewed and 82 per cent of its own employees, the survey added.