IBM ships first Wii chips
IBM Corp said it has shipped the first microprocessors that will be used to power Nintendo Co's upcoming Wii video game console. IBM earlier this year signed a multiyear agreement to supply Nintendo, with chips made at its East Fishkill, New York, plant. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wii will be competing against Sony Corp's PlayStation 3, set to go on sale in November, and Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360, which went on sale last year. Nintendo is hoping to sell 6 million Wii consoles during the fiscal year ending March next year.
US beef import ban lifted
South Korea yesterday approved resuming imports of US beef after repeated delays in implementing an earlier decision to lift a 2003 ban imposed because of mad cow fears. The Agriculture Ministry said 36 US slaughterhouses designated to handle meat for export to South Korea met required safety measures, clearing the last hurdle to the resumption of imports. The country had previously been the third-largest market for US beef. South Korea will notify the slaughterhouses of the approval on Monday, and the beef can start to be sold in the South Korean market some 25 days later, the ministry said in a statement.
■ Video games
Simple Xbox to debut
Microsoft Corp is set to release a cheaper, bare-bones version of the Xbox 360 video game console in Japan to boost flagging sales ahead of the arrival of new machines from rivals later in the year. The Japanese unit of US-based Microsoft will launch a Xbox 360 console on Nov. 2 that comes without the 20-gigabyte hard drive and other accessories included with the standard version, according to Microsoft spokesman Jun Yoshihara. The low-end version, already sold as the Xbox 360 Core System in the US and Europe, will sell for ?29,800 (US$255) -- about ?10,000 less than its standard version, Yoshihara said.
HP spied on journalists
The California attorney general's investigation into the purloining of private phone records by agents of Hewlett-Packard has revealed that the monitoring effort began earlier than previously indicated and included journalists as targets. The targets included nine journalists who have covered Hewlett-Packard, including one from the New York Times, the company said. The company said this week that its board had hired private investigators to identify directors leaking information to the news media and that those investigators had posed as board members -- a technique known as pretexting -- to gain access to their personal phone records.
Alcatel, Lucent merger OK
Shareholders in French telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel and US group Lucent on Thursday approved a merger of the two companies to create a giant valued at 21.5 billion euros (US$27 billion). The backing came during special general assemblies held by Lucent shareholders in Wilmington, Delaware and Alcatel shareholders in Paris. Lucent Technologies chairwoman and chief executive, Patricia Russo, who is to be chief executive in the combined entity, said the merger would create a strong global player. The merger creates a giant that will be second only to US-based Cisco Systems.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters