Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Computers
Apple updates armor

Apple Inc released a software update to keep hackers from running programs remotely, the Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University said today in a statement. The updates are intended to fix the Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server and iChat software packages that Apple distributes with its personal computers, the national computer security center said. Apple has 4.7 percent of the personal computer market, according to a Jan. 17 report from IDC and Gartner Inc. The Cupertino, California-based company has produced advertisements promoting its operating system as being less vulnerable to viruses and other malicious attacks.

■ Entertainment

Court pooh-poohs Disney

US media giant Walt Disney Co has lost a court battle in a long-running fight over the copyright of the Winnie the Pooh character, the attorney challenging the company said Friday. A US federal judge in California granted Stephen Slesinger Inc, which claims the rights to Winnie the Pooh, a "summary judgment" that effectively ends Disney's efforts to take back the copyright, attorney Barry Slotnick said. The heirs of Stephen Slesinger, who bought the US rights from Pooh author A.A. Milne in 1930 and began licensing them to Disney in 1961, claim the powerful firm has cheated them out of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.

■ Communications

US, Japan scratch tariff

The US and Japan agreed on Friday to remove a key non-tariff barrier to their trade in telecommunications and radio equipment worth nearly US$3 billion a year. They signed a so-called Mutual Recognition Agreement in Washington to make certification of such equipment easier, officials said. Following the pact, Japan will accept results of "conformity assessment" procedures, including product testing and certification, performed by the US that determine if equipment meets Japan's technical requirements.

■ Utilities

Contingency plan in place

Taiwan's state-run enterprises have formed special task forces to address possible emergency situations during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Friday. Taiwan Power Co (台電), CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) and Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水) have taken steps to ensure a stable supply of electricity, oil and water during this period, the officials noted. Should a power failure occur during the holiday, the public can call a hotline on 1911, while the water company said that customers can call a toll-free hotline at 0800-000-876 if water supplies fail or leaks occur, officials said.

■ Currency

Circulation hits new record

The amount of NT dollars issued has hit a record high of NT$1.38 trillion (US$41.75 billion), Taiwan's central bank said on Friday. The amount of currency issued often peaks on the day before Lunar New Year's Eve, the central bank said, because companies pay year-end bonuses and customers buy more. The figure has been growing every year since 2003, this year growing NT$57.7 billion, or 4.38 percent, over last year's amount, according to central bank records. Central bank officials said that with the Lunar New Year holiday lasting nine days, people need to keep more cash at hand.

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