China targets counterfeiters
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and five other car-markers won a key piracy ruling after China signaled its intention to prosecute a glass factory for making counterfeit windscreens, the South China Morning Post said yesterday, without saying where it got the information. The Guang-dong provincial prosecutor overturned three earlier rulings by local prosecutors who had refused to crack down on Jieyang Kentong Automobile Glass Factory, the report said. Thousands of fake windscreens were seized in raids between 1999 and 2001, it said. Counter-feit parts cost the US vehicle industry US$12 billion a year, according to US estimates, the report said. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world's No. 2 luxury carmaker, said Asian sales rose 19 percent to a record last year, helped by increased demand in China where sales almost tripled to 18,679 vehicles.
FedEx to stay in Philippines
FedEx Corp, the world's biggest overnight package-delivery company, will sign an agreement this month to keep its Asia-Pacific hub in the Philippines instead of moving it to Guangzhou, Clark International Airport Corp president Adelberto Yap said yesterday. The cargo carrier will lease as much as 50 hectares at the former US Air Force base for 25 years, Yap said. FedEx will start operations at Clark in two years, before a lease at the former US Navy base Subic Bay expires in 2009, Yap said. FedEx will be the second package delivery company to have its Asian hub at Clark. United Parcel Service has another 50 hectares there. State-owned Clark Inter-national controls 2,700 hectares of the 5,400 former base. FedEx has won tax and other concessions from the Philippines government, the South China Morning Post said on Wednesday.
Sun targets consumers
Sun Microsystems Inc's version of the Linux operating system is now available on personal com-puters sold on the Wal-Mart Stores Inc Web site. It's the first time Sun's software has been made available on computers for consumers, reports said. Sun previously targeted its desktop Linux project at companies, coun-tries and schools. Microtel PCs with Sun's Java Desk-top System, which start at US$298, include StarOffice, Sun's alternative to Micro-soft Office. Wal-Mart started selling Microtel computers with the Lindows operating system in 2002 and offers other Linux variants, Lycoris and Linare Linux. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Cynthia Lin said Window-based systems are still the most popular, although customer response to the Linux systems has exceeded the company's expectations.
Spammers eye IM services
A new form of Internet spam, this time aimed at users of instant messaging (IM) services, is set to explode, the New Scientist warns in today's issue. The phenomenon has been dubbed "spim" by experts, who reckon that this year 1.2 billion unsolicited messages will be sent over IM services run by Yahoo, MSN and other companies, and the volume will triple next year. Seventy percent of "spim" is pornography related. Unlike email, IM software allows users to exchange messages in real time. "This makes spim more insidious than spam because the messages pop up automatically, giving the recipient no chance of deleting them," the British weekly notes.