Did You Hear?

Internet commerce is poised to hit the trillion dollar mark as early as 2003, according to a recent report by International Data Corp. (Framingham, Mass.). The report indicates that the Web will become less U.S.-centric, with an estimated 65 percent of Web users coming from other countries by 2003. Further, the number of Web buyers is expected to jump from 31 million in 1998 to more than 183 million in 2003. Other research companies also expect Internet Commerce to continue to soar. Forrester Research (Cambridge, Mass.)says online business-to-business hard good sales will hit $1.3 trillion by 2003 and Jupiter Communications (New York, N.Y.) predicts teenagers alone will spend $1.3 billion online by 2002. Supporting these analyst findings, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that e-commerce and information technology were responsible for a third of the nation's real economic growth between 1995 and 1998.
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A study by Computer Economics Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) indicates computer virus and worm attacks on information systems have caused a total lose of $7.6 billion to businesses in the first half of 1999 as a result of disabled computers. The cost of these viruses, which are spread by e-mail, was five times larger in the first six months of 1999 than businesses suffered during all of last year, according to the report. The study was based on 185 companies, representing 900,000 international users.
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IBM announced technology designed to reduce advanced "system-on-a-chip" development time and cost by as much as 50 percent. These chips can help electronic manufacturers transform standalone products into pervasive computing devices, boost the speed of Internet communications gear and provide new options for e-business applications. Highlights of the announcement included: an IBM chip technology that allows pieces of chip designs from multiple sources to be plugged together more easily to create entire new chips; IBM's architecture for building highly integrated chips; and a new, high-performance PowerPC embedded microprocessor that incorporates a host of additional features.
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According to a report by Winter Corp. (Waltham, Mass.), it is more important than ever for companies to test data warehouses early in the planning stage to ensure success. The report recommends businesses conduct large-scale "What-if?" tests, especially for data warehouses exceeding one trillion bytes, the fastest growing segment in the market. Winter says IBM's Teraplex Integration Centers is in the forefront of providing the answers to "What-if?" scenarios before customers commit to a product. There are Teraplex Centers for each IBM platform, with the AS/400 center based in Rochester, Minn. Each center is open to IBM's business partners and customers. According to IBM, a typical test takes anywhere from four weeks to several months. IBM's Teraplex staff works with customers to establish goals and success criteria, then develop a step-by-step plan. The test scenarios include generating queries and simulating user workloads. After testing, the system is reconfigured and tested to optimize the settings.
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