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Tech Industry

The week ahead: Java on tap

The tech industry will get a huge dose of the programming language at JavaOne in San Francisco, where programmers will be flocking.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of March 25 through March 29.

The tech industry will get a huge dose of Java this week.

Programmers and code enthusiasts of many species will flock to San Francisco for JavaOne, a conference centered on Java.

The software developed by Sun Microsystems, which is mainly used to run e-business applications, has gained widespread use because of its multi-computer flexibility, but faces competition from Microsoft's .Net.

Telecommunications equipment maker Riverstone Networks will report earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter on Tuesday, as other companies look over their books as the first quarter closes for the calendar year at the end of March.

Big business seems to have a better grasp on where their fortunes are headed, according to earnings pre-announcement data from First Call.

Of the 761 first-quarter pre-announcements so far, 366, or 48 percent of the total, warned of lower earnings, while 226, or 30 percent, said earnings would exceed expectations. That compares favorably to the same period a year ago, when 610 of the 870 pre-announcements were negative, or 70 percent.

Technology companies reflected this overall trend. So far this quarter, 52 percent, or 117 of the total 225 corporations that pre-announced, issued earnings warnings. Investors heard mostly bad news at this time during last year's first quarter when 240 businesses said their financial performance would not meet expectations, or 74 percent of the total 326 corporations that issued early earnings updates.

In addition to earnings speculation, investors will peruse government data on the state of the economy this week. The Commerce Department will release final figures on Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter, which measures overall economic activity in the United States.

Moreover, Wall Street will digest numbers on new home sales and existing home sales for February, which gives a picture on American consumers' willingness to spend on major purchases.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Sunday, March 24
  • Technology cheerleaders will gather at PC Forum at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess, in Scottsdale, Ariz., March 24 to March 26. Speakers include Intel CEO Craig Barrett, Microsoft COO Rick Belluzzo, Sun Microsystems COO Ed Zander and Cisco Systems Senior Vice President Mike Volpi.

Monday, March 25
  • Thousands of programmers will descend on the Moscone Center, in San Francisco, between March 25 to March 29, for the JavaOne conference to hear the latest about the programming language Sun Microsystems invented and many other companies now support. Keynotes will come from Sun CEO Scott McNealy, SAP CEO Hasso Plattner and BEA Systems CEO Alfred Chuang.

  • Those interested in the fate of sound technology in the Internet will congregate at AudioIcon 2002, which will be held in the Hewlett-Packard auditorium at UC Berkeley, in Berkeley, Calif., March 25. Liquid Audio CEO Gerry Kearby will give a keynote speech.

  • Brocade Communication Systems will hold its Vision Summit at the San Jose Convention Center, in San Jose, Calif., on March 25, an invitation-only event for analysts and customers of the storage equipment maker. The company will speak about how trends in the industry affect its future, and senior executives like CEO Greg Reyes, COO Mike Byrd and CFO Tony Canova are scheduled to attend.

  • A federal trial starts in Philadelphia before a three-judge panel on March 25, which challenges a new law known as the Children's Internet Protection Act. The legislation requires schools and libraries that receive federal dollars to filter Web content or lose their funding. The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Library Association each filed a separate lawsuit against the law.

Tuesday, March 26
  • On Tuesday March 26, Red Hat will debut its Advanced Server version for the Linux operating system. The product is geared to big-business customers, and Red hat hopes software companies such as Oracle will prefer it to other companies' Linux products because it won't be updated as frequently as the current versions.

  • Michigan State University will host a symposium at the Willard-Intercontinental in Washington, D.C., March 26 about access to Internet, telecommunications and technology services. The event will address law, policy and regulatory issues that govern how citizens and industries gain access to technology resources.

  • A hearing takes place March 26 that will help set the rules for a federal court's investigation into whether the record industry has "misused" its copyrights online. The hearing pits the file-sharing service Napster against the recording industry, which was ordered by a San Francisco federal judge to submit proof of ownership for songs they say have been downloaded via Napster.

Wednesday, March 27
  • Carnegie Mellon University will host a workshop in Pittsburgh, Penn., March 27 to March 28, on information security issues that affect state governments. Keynote speakers include Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean along with Jeffrey Hunker, the former head of cybersecurity for the National Security Council.

  • The Cato Institute will present a panel on the unsolicited e-mail known as spam, in Washington, D.C., on March 27. The event will address what can be done about the masses of unwanted e-mail that Internet users receive on a daily basis.

Thursday, March 28
  • Venture capitalists and investors in search of promising business opportunities will assemble at the Early Stage Investment Forum at the Seattle Sheraton, in Seattle, March 28 to March 29, to look over start-up companies in need of funding.

Earnings

Tuesday, March 26

  • Riverstone Networks makes optical equipment for telecom carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: loss of 1 cent.

Economic Reports
Monday, March 25

  • The National Association of Realtors reports Existing Home Sales for the month of February, representing the number of previously built homes sold nationwide. The data indicate the strength of demand in housing and in the overall economy on the premise that the economy heats up as more consumers buy homes, cars and other high-ticket items. Economists expect sales to fall to 5.60 million from 6.04 million in January.

Tuesday, March 26

  • Durable Goods Orders represents the percentage increase or decrease of big ticket items purchased, such as washing machines and refrigerators, as reported monthly by the Commerce Department. Economists use the number to measure demand in the economy and expect orders to rise 1 percent February versus January's rise of 2.6 percent.

  • Consumer Confidence will be reported by the Conference Board for the month of February. This figure, measured by an index, represents consumer sentiment towards the economy. Analysts expect the index to jump to 96 in March from February's 94.1.

Wednesday, March 27
  • The Commerce Department will release New Home Sales figures, which represents the number of new homes sold in the United States, and serves as another measure of demand in the economy. Wall Street expects 880,000 sales in February, up from 823,000 in January.

Thursday, March 28
  • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ending March 23.

  • The Commerce Department will report final Gross Domestic Product numbers for the fourth quarter of 2001. GDP represents the value of U.S. goods and services produced within a certain time frame and is a measure of the nation's overall economic activity. The government said in the "preliminary" report, last February, that GDP rose 1.4 percent for the fourth quarter, an upward revision from 0.2 percent in the "advance" estimate that was released in January. GDP fell by 1.3 percent in the third quarter.

  • The Help Wanted Index for the month of February is a monthly survey by the Conference Board of the volume of help-wanted advertising in major national newspapers. Wall Street uses the index to measure trends in job growth. In January, the index remained unchanged at 47 from December. The index was at 77 during January 2001.

Friday, March 29
  • Personal income shows the monthly percentage change in household income from the Commerce Department. This number is expected to rise 0.2 percent in February compared with an 0.4 increase in January.

  • The Commerce Department will also release data on personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, which measures purchases of goods and services. Analysts expect PCE to jump 0.5 percent in February versus a 0.4 percent rise in the previous month.