New domain names by early next year


The .eu domain name, as an alternative for European business to .com or .org, should be operational early next year, European Commission officials have promised. European Telecoms Commissioner Mr Erkki Liikanen said the Commission was making progress on winning international approval for use of .eu as an domain name by EU companies.

Mr Liikanen said ICANN, the international governance body for the Internet, had decided that International Standards Organisation-protected symbols, such as .eu can be used as top-level domain names by regional authorities. Incidentally, other suffixes being discussed are .kids, .shop and .xxx which could all be in use early next year.

Stockmarket Creche: A "nursery" has been launched in Dublin to help start-ups develop. Sponsored by Sun/Horizon, Oracle, Cisco and Wolfe Group, is a three year programme to enable new dotcom companies grow their ideas from conception to full Internet trading.

MS Appeal: The US Justice Department has asked an appeals court to set a much faster schedule - and limit the size of court briefs by more than Microsoft wants - in its bid to overturn a lower court order to split the company in two. Microsoft meanwhile accused the government of trying to "short-circuit the appellate process".

Ireland's Hub: The swift adoption of technology by Ireland signals the end of the country being on the periphery, the Minister for Science, Technology and Commerce Mr Noel Treacy said last week. He made the comments while opening the fourth Internet Business Conference in Dublin. According to the Minister, this progress is reflected in recent figures which indicate that 77 per cent of Irish companies have a website and that 79 per cent use external email as part of their business.

Mobilising Billions: The same minister was also in Galway last week at the opening of a three-day Information Society Technologies (IST) mobile summit in Galway. Amongst other things, the summit was told that there would be one billion mobile phones in operation globally by 2002, which should lead to a lot of radiation and even more irritation.

Smart Move: Researchers in the Smart Media Institute, a centre for advanced research in the Department of Computer Science at UCD, have been awarded a 238,000 euro research grant to fund their work on next-generation adaptive information services.

Man U Mission: Manchester United's website is to go multi-lingual at the start of 2001, according to chief executive Mr Peter Kenyon. The priority is to launch Malay, Mandarin and Thai versions of the site so as to capitalise on the club's huge popularity in South East Asia. Development of the club's Internet services is seen as complementing both MUTV and its many retail offerings.

Snoope: British companies are to be allowed to intercept their employees' email and telephone calls as of October 24th. Companies will be allowed carry out routine access of their employees' email and telephone calls to ensure they are work related, according to the Financial Times. Ms Patricia Hewitt, minister for e-commerce and small business, said that proposals obliging companies to seek employees' prior permission to read their correspondence had been abandoned.

Costly Business: Small businesses in Britain "vastly underestimate" the cost of setting up online, according to a report from Internet business incubator, Xworks. It found small businesses face on average a bill more than £5,000 sterling higher than they expected when building an e-commerceen-abled website.

And The Winner Is: The Irish Software Association (ISA) is seeking nominations for this year's Annual Software Industry Awards which will be presented at a function in the Mansion House on November 17th. Categories include Company of the Year, Innovation Achievement and New Company of the Year. More details are available from or 01605 1582.

Government Award: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) will today award the Government with the first European Cyber Champion Award, for their ongoing efforts on promoting the growth of the software industry in Europe.

Online Poll: and Amarach Consulting, have launched an online polling service which provides companies with the ability to ask Irish Internet users up to 15 questions through the site, including their opinions, attitudes or commercial preferences. Each survey will run for three weeks taking a random sample of 500 Internet users.

In Brief...Baltimore Technology and FutureTV are to develop next generation secure e-commerce solutions for digital TV network operators and content providers. . .Napster's site was unavailable for a few hours early Wednesday as a technical glitch interfered with music downloads. . .