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Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Oil
Weather affects production

Oil production at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, was cut to 10 percent of normal output after a power outage, and more weather-related problems forced the trans-Alaska oil pipeline to temporarily go offline. The pipeline was down for about 10 hours on Tuesday after flooding in Valdez likely knocked out fiber-optic communications at five valves on the pipeline. Production fell to about 35,000 barrels on Tuesday, one-tenth of the 350,000 barrels that were produced on Monday in the oil field already hampered by problems. Layers of dust and dirt blown by high winds built up on high-voltage insulators on power lines and the field, causing a short and bringing the entire field down.

■ Internet

Singapore revs up wireless

Singapore's government said it plans to cover most of the city-state with public wireless Internet access by next year and offer nearly 10,000 subsidized computers to low-income students to offer digital opportunities to all its citizens. The government will increase the number of public wireless "hot spots" from 900 to 5,000 by next year as part of the plan, the government said on Tuesday while launching the Wireless@SG initiative marking 25 years of a drive to boost information technology in Singapore. The plan will offer free 512 kilobits per second wireless access for at least two years through telecom operators SingTel, iCell and QMax.

■ Software

Google pitches package

Google Inc is making its word processing and spreadsheet programs available for free to all comers on its Web site, marking the Internet search leader's latest effort to provide an alternative to Microsoft Corp's dominant software applications. The software package, available since yesterday, combines a spreadsheet application that Google introduced in June with a word processing program called Writely that the Mountain View-based company bought for an undisclosed amount in March.

■ Electronics

Hitachi to raise Clarion stake

Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd said yesterday it will conduct a tender offer for shares of Clarion Co, aiming to raise its stake in the car audio and navigation system maker to 50 percent. Hitachi will offer ?230 (US$2) for each share in Tokyo-based Clarion, starting on Oct. 25, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement, adding it would announce the end of the share purchase as soon as it's final. At the tender price, Hitachi will be spending ?23.15 billion (US$193 million). Hitachi said it expects both the domestic and global markets for auto entertainment and navigation systems to expand.

■ Software

Infosys' net income soars

The net income of Infosys Technologies Ltd rose by 44.2 percent in the July-September quarter from a year ago, the company said yesterday, citing continued strong outsourcing demand. The company, which writes and develops software for many Western companies, also raised its revenue and earnings forecast for the fiscal year through next March. Infosys Technologies' net profit for the fiscal year's second quarter rose to US$199 million from US$138 million in the year-ago period, beating analysts' expectations.

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