The financial markets ended a rocky week lower after dour news from Intel and Yahoo shook technology stocks across the board.
On Thursday, the giant chipmaker warned Wall Street for the second time that revenue estimates would fall below forecasts. Citing increased softness in the
market for PCs, Intel now expects revenue around $6.5 billion, approximately 25 percent below fourth-quarter revenue of $8.7 billion. These estimates would make it Intel's slowest quarter since late 1997.
Technology stocks took the news hard, as shares fell sharply Friday. Intel's woes weren't the only blow to the stock market this week, as Yahoo caused its own market turmoil with an earnings warning and word that Chief Executive Tim Koogle would step aside.
Trading of shares in the Net portal was halted early Wednesday after speculation by Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget as to why the company canceled an appearance at the investment bank's financial conference sent shares into a tailspin.
The warning has raised a number of questions for the giant Internet portal. The online advertising market, already depressed, seems to be in worse shape than originally thought. And despite Yahoo's current woes and depressed stock price, many analysts think that shares still have a ways to go before they really hit rock bottom.
A federal judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against Napster that hands the controversial company a small court victory, but doesn't deflect the long legal challenge still ahead of it.
Napster must begin blocking songs from being traded through its service. For faithful members wondering how they'll get free music, solutions are quickly making the rounds, however. Some of Napster's more than 64 million members have already begun trading secrets on
how to circumvent current restrictions, which aim to filter out specific names of infringing files.
Settlement talk is still in the air, but cutting a deal may be harder than originally thought. The five major record labels suing the company wield extraordinary power going into talks. If it wants to escape with its life, Napster will have to strike a painful bargain at best--and even that may no longer be possible.
A number of notebooks that will incorporate Transmeta's Crusoe processor are expected to hit the U.S. retail market over the next two months. One laptop from Casio will run on Windows 2000 but comes with a version of the Linux operating system as well. In addition, computer manufacturer NEC will also produce an inexpensive notebook with the Crusoe processor, according to sources, as well as a version that comes with a space-saving lithium polymer battery.
Handspring and rival Palm are both coming out with new plans for their high-end handheld line next week. Handspring on Monday is expected to unveil the Visor Edge, a slimmer, metal-encased handheld. Palm later in the month plans to unveil two new Palm models that will include a postage stamp-size expansion slot, similar to Handspring's current Visor models.
In other handheld news, Compaq Computer is preparing to release a more robust version of its iPaq handheld. The new model will offer "a power-busting 64MB" of memory and the option of a wireless networking card and an expansion sleeve capable of using two PC cards simultaneously.
Dell Computer is bringing its slimmed-down laptop, popular with corporations, to consumers. It introduced its first ultra-portable model in its Inspiron consumer and small-business line. The Inspiron 2100 weighs in at 3.4 pounds. It is an inch thick, has a 12-inch screen and comes with Intel's recently introduced 700MHz mobile Pentium III.
"Ginger," the mysterious scooter-like device that has been touted as changing the world, is apparently environmentally friendly as well. A recently published magazine article claims that Ginger is indeed a two-wheeled scooter-like device and further asserts that it will run nearly
emission-free using a hydrogen-based engine. In theory, the engine could power a range of devices.
Also of note
A virus advertising itself as an e-mailed photo of someone's wife has started infecting computers in Europe and the United States and may have started from the U.S. military...Troubled Internet toy site eToys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware and is expected to close its Web site...Apple Computer released the final, or gold, code for its next-generation Mac operating system, from which the company can begin manufacturing copies for sale.