News Schmooze: No-frills broadband draws ISP ire

BT laid out its cunning plan, Belluzzo explained why it's hard to work with Gates and Ballmer, and AMD readied its anti-Intel giant robot squad

BT unveiled an overview of its plans for the next three years, saying it would focus on three things: keeping broadband rollout at a snail's pace, tightening its grip on its virtual broadband monopoly and generally annoying customers. Well, those weren't their words exactly, but you get the drift. The centrepiece of this plan seems to be a "no-frills" broadband offering coming up in a few weeks, which according to BT means you no longer have to have one of those pesky ISPs. These Internet Service Providers, who never seem to get tired of whining about our friend BT, predictably seem to have some sort of problem with this.
BT reassures City but scares ISPs
BT clearly has the low end of the broadband market taken care of, but if you're looking for an extra-speedy connection and have a spare few thousand quid to throw around, you might want to look at Easynet's new offerings. Hint: the cheaper one is £2,388 a year, but you won't need any extra disposable income because you'll be spending all your spare time cruising the Information Superhighway.
Superfast DSL hits the (metropolitan) streets
Rick Belluzzo is leaving as Microsoft's president and chief operating officer, saying he wants to run something of his own. It isn't surprising, really -- this is a company where from the beginning all the decisions were made by the person who could shout the loudest and longest. By all accounts not a lot has changed in the Gates-Ballmer relationship since those days.
Rick Belluzzo: Why I left Microsoft
AMD wowed us a couple of years ago with the Athlon and Duron, which sound like an athlete's foot cure and a long-lasting deodorant, respectively. Now they're about to do it again, with the launch of the chip code-named Hammer: possible names include Metaron, Opteron, Forteon, Multeon and Vanton, which could be mistaken for a special legion of battle robots from the cartoon Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Schmoozer thinks they should go for Forteon, with its connotations of solidity and strength; it's also a trademark for additives in fibre-reinforced cement.
AMD's new chip: Metaron?
It turns out that the Internet might not be such a good thing for authors, at least not when it is used to promote the nefarious practice of selling used books. The Author's Guild is telling its 8,000 members to remove links to Amazon's site, since it "aggressively promotes" used book sales, which are clearly a threat to the entire publishing industry. Used book selling deserves be branded as an anti-capitalist scourge, apparently, but "as far as we can tell it's legal", says the guild's executive director.
Authors rebel against used books on Amazon
The News Schmooze is ZDNet UK's irreverent take on the week's news. Send your tip-offs to: mailroomuk@zdnet.com.


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