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Monday, March 01, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Technology Briefs
Google reportedly plans to offer free e-mail service


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Google reportedly plans to offer free e-mail service

Google is reportedly planning to introduce a free e-mail service, as its competition with Yahoo! and Microsoft's MSN heats up. Yahoo!'s e-mail service is both a revenue generator as well as a way the company increases users' activity and loyalty. Google's rumored entry into e-mail would be a major move and a direct threat to one of Yahoo!'s strongest areas, The New York Times reported. Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, did not confirm the plan, but did say, "We are trying to put our effort into things that really matter to people that we can make significantly better."

Verizon Wireless to debut around-world cell service

NEW YORK — Verizon Wireless plans to begin selling this spring a cellphone that its subscribers can use around the world as well as in the United States.

The phone will have chips for two kinds of wireless network systems — the CDMA standard used by Verizon in America and the GSM standard used in most of the rest of the world. In most places, the GSM calls will be carried by Vodafone PLC, the British cellphone company that owns 45 percent of Verizon Wireless.

The phone is due to debut in April. Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Boyd Raney would not disclose the price or the phone's manufacturer.

U.S. cellular carriers that employ the GSM standard here, including Cingular, T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless, already offer phones usable worldwide. But Verizon Wireless would be the first to provide dual service on CDMA and GSM networks in one phone.

Sprint PCS, the other national CDMA carrier in the United States, plans to roll out a dual CDMA/GSM phone later this year, but spokeswoman Suzanne Lammers said she could not offer specifics.

Big sellers find eBay less-effective market

The auction site eBay has lost some big sellers in part because it's too successful. Omaha Steaks International, for instance, stopped selling meat through the Web site because the auction format limited its ability to sell at a profitable price. There was just too much inventory available.
 
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Home Depot also halted some sales on eBay after it found its own Web site was more effective, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Officials at eBay agree they don't have enough buyer demand to soak up tons of look-alike merchandise, the report added. Meg Whitman, chief executive, said, "If you want to move a thousand of the same computer in a day, eBay may not be one of the most effective channels."

Creator of Ctrl/Alt/Delete calling it a career at IBM

Since the dawn of personal computing, it has been the nerd's equivalent of SOS: Ctrl/Alt/Delete.

Millions of desperate PC users have pressed this keystroke combo when confronting frozen screens. Someday it will be Dave Bradley's epitaph.

Bradley, 55, invented what may be the best-known command set in computerdom while helping design the original IBM PC, which sparked the personal computer revolution in August 1981.

"I'd like to be known more for being part of the team that did the IBM PC. But Ctrl/Alt/Delete is pretty cool, too," joked Bradley, who is calling it a career. He retired from IBM last month.

In the beginning, those combined keystrokes offered a faster way to restart a stalled machine than powering it off and on again. Cheaper than a reset button, the commands were impossible to hit by mistake because of their keyboard spacing. Aficionados soon discovered these keystrokes also were a quick way to quit and launch programs — though they did not spare data from being lost in a computer crash.

Compiled from Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services, The Associated Press and Newhouse News Service

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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