E-Commerce On Show


Billed as the largest conference of its type to take place in Ireland, the Internet Business Conference kicks off tomorrow with a packed programme of events at Internet World '98 at the RDS. The conference will be addressed in the morning by Internet and e-commerce guru, Esther Dyson, under the expansive session title "Internet business is like real business - but more so". This year's business conference will focus on e-commerce and organisers are hopeful that it will concentrate minds in Irish businesses as they wake up to the true potential of communications de-regulation and expansion of services.

NT Alternative?: Oracle has announced immediate availability of Oracle8 and Oracle Application Server for the Linux operating system and the popular Apache Web server. Demand for the Linux version of Oracle's database and application server has resulted in more than 20,000 Internet developer registrations in less than two weeks. Oracle also announced that developer licenses for Oracle8 and Oracle Application Server for Linux will be free to all developers via the Oracle Technology Network at www.technet.oracle.com.

Rural Repatriation: As politicians fight to retain Objective 1 status for underdeveloped areas, an initiative in Co Wicklow aims to stem the flow of people from a number of its rural communities by setting up Information Technology centres in villages throughout the county. In addition to providing IT training, equipment and services the initiative is aimed at helping local rural communities to attract inward investment and develop teleworking opportunites. The Wicklow Rural Partnership can be contacted by email at wrp@tinet.ie

Ticketless Tubes: ICL's Dublin-based Information Technology Centre is to develop back-end management for the new system of ticketless transport in London. ICL has a 20 per cent equity stake in the Transys consortium, which won the £1 billion Prestige project to develop and manage the operation of London Transport's new automated fare collection system and ticketing technology. Contactless smart cards will be introduced as the principal ticket medium on the 500 Underground trains and 6,000 buses which operate in London.

Accounting For The Euro: Dublin-based business software developer GFK Technology Limited has launched Take Five Enterprise Euro, an EMU-friendly version of its market-leading management accounting suite. The company is basing its current promotional campaign around the slogan "Time's up for your accounting system", emphasizing that firms need business software that's ready here and now, not the day after the euro and Y2K issues become a reality.

Tuvalu Value: The world's smallest country, the south Pacific island of Tuvalu, hopes to undergo a Cinderella-like transformation from one of the globe's poorest nations to one of the wealthiest after hanging a "for sale" sign on its Internet name. A privately-held Canadian company, the .TV Corporation, last week began to market Tuvalu's Internet domain name. They are hoping major television companies, producers, television personalities and others might want to own a Web site address with the cachet of the .tv ending.

Race On: DCU now offers a postgraduate qualification in Engineering via the Internet. The new programme, known as RACeE (Remote Access to Continuing Engineering Education), allows engineers to update skills without leaving the workplace. More information is available at DCU from Ms Aine Cryts at (01) 704-8049.

In Brief... A U.S. federal court has denied Microsoft's request to delay the start of the company's anti-trust trial, clearing the way for the case to begin today. . . Hot on the heels of Apple's iMac, Compaq have released a $699 Internet PC, billed as the newest Presario Internet PC which comes with an M II processor, 64MB of memory, CD-ROM drive, a 4GB hard drive, and 56-kbps modem. . . And three cheers for Apple, which last week announced its first profit in three years with earnings of $106 billion, largely attributed to the success of the new iMac. . . Amazon.com is to expand its Web presence with two new sites in the U.K. and Germany which will preempt next months's launch of Books Online, an alliance between publishing giants Bertelsmann and Barnes & Noble. . .