Maybe it's the feel good effect created by all the clotted cream and fudge consumed on my Cornish holiday, but I seem to have noticed a lot of good news this week. Intel, for example, says that PC sales are recovering after a very tough year, SAP's profits are sky rocketing, and Ireland is emerging as Europe's 'wired isle' according to The Guardian. Did I miss something? Email me, Eugene Lacey, with interesting snippets about IT, computers or the Net, that you have read about in dead tree media.
Europe is all talk when it comes to e-Commerce - The Independent
There is a lot of talk about e-Commerce in Europe, but it may only be talk according to an Anderson Consulting report highlighted in The Independent. "While 82 per cent of excutives surveyed thought e-commerce would have a strategic impact on their businesses in the future, only 39 per cent were acting on that belief...European governments need to work with businesses to create a regulatory regime that facilitates global e-commerce." The Independent, September 7, 1998.
Computers only as bad at "awareness" as humans - The Guardian
In a series of reports from the Cardiff Science Festival, The Guardian highlighted the work of Igor Aleksander of Imperial College which it ran under the headline: "Paranoid android could be reality." Aleksander says, "in experiments he found that computer neural networks--systems that crudely mimic the brain's processes--showed the same difficulties as humans in grappling with problems associated with awareness." The Guardian, September 8, 1998.
Ireland - "The wired Isle" - The Guardian
In a front page lead, last Thursday's Guardian Online reported on the IT boom in Ireland. "Ireland already dominates Europe as a technology centre: it's the number two exporter of software after the US, draws most American technology investment in Europe, and builds a third of Europe's PCs. Several hundred IT companies call Ireland home, including Intel, Dell, and IBM." The Guardian, September 10, 1998.
Government may take away licenses from firms inadequately prepared for millennium - The Times
The Times reported that the director of Action 2000, Don Cruickshank, threatened that the government "could take away licences from companies if they failed to make adequate preparations for dealing with the millennium bug". Meanwhile in 'Commentary by our City Editor' The Times noted that: "While industrialists fully expect [the millennium bug] to have an effect on their activities, the Government has apparently still to factor into its forecasts any element of a slowdown caused by the pesky creature." The Times, September 11, 1998.
IT staff need to talk "business lingo" to make it on to the board - Sunday Telegraph
If they want to get to the top IT staff need to "stop reveling in the mystique that surrounds technology and start communicating in real business terms. So, it's out with technospeak and in with business lingo...The 'bits and bytes' guys are literally dinosaurs". These are the words of Rae Sedel, head of global technology practice at search consultants Rusell Reynolds. Sunday Telegraph, September 13, 1998.
SAP milks Euro and Y2K systems changes - Business Week
The German software giant SAP is milking the major sytems changes that big companies need to make to prepare for the Euro and millennium. Business Week reported "Instead of combing through their computer systems looking for bugs, many of SAP'S 8,000 customers just bought new software packages. This contributed to sales growth of 62% in 1997." Much of these vast profits are being reinvested "all around its headquarters in rural Walldorf, in Germany's lush Rhine Valley, workers manning a forest of cranes are piecing together a vast complex of new SAP buildings. The company will hire 5,000 employees this year, expanding its workforce by 35% and is expanding research labs from Palo Alto to Minsk." Business Week, September 14, 1998.
PC sales recovering says Intel - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal reports on an Intel claim that sales of PCs are recovering. "Demand for personal computers is recovering in the current quarter, boosting the chip giant's expected revenue for the period as much as 10% above its previous estimates. Intel said third quarter sales are now expected to be 8% to 10% above the $5.93 billion reported for the prior period." Wall Street Journal, September 11-12, 1998.