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The week ahead: Napster back in court

Some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Oct. 2 to Oct. 6.

    Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Oct. 2-6.

    Controversial file-swapping company Napster returns to court this week, capping two months of legal wrangling.

    Three appellate judges may rule as soon as Monday on whether to uphold a lower court's order that the San Mateo, Calif.-based start-up must halt the "sharing" of copyrighted music on its site. Oral arguments begin Monday at 11 a.m. PT. A decision could follow at any time.

    Also this week, the Federal Open Market Committee will meet to discuss the course of interest rates. The consensus among analysts is that rates will not be adjusted until after the presidential elections in November.

    A series of technology-related conferences are scheduled this week, including WR Hambrecht's Open Source & Pervasive Computing Conference. Speakers include VA Linux Systems CEO Larry Augustin, Red Hat chief technology officer Michael Tiemann and Caldera Systems CEO Ransom Love.

    Few companies will be announcing earnings this week, as the third quarter ended last Friday.

    Using information gathered from First Call/Thomson Financial, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor, these are the other events scheduled this week:

    Earnings

    Wednesday, Oct. 4

    • Micron Technology makes semiconductor memory components including dynamic random access memory (DRAM), flash memory and other chips. Per-share consensus estimate: 96 cents.

    • Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering makes equipment that telecommunications carriers use to test and monitor fiber-optic networks. Per-share consensus estimate: 6 cents.

    Thursday, Oct. 5

    • Net2Phone makes software that allows people to make phone calls over the Internet, often at a much lower cost than wireless or fixed-line calling. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 30 cents.

    • Metron Technology sells cleaning, inspection and repair products to semiconductor companies such as Lucent Technologies and Motorola. Per-share consensus estimate: 25 cents.

    Economic Reports

    Monday, Oct. 2

    • Auto Sales represents the number of new cars sold in the United States. This number is expected to fall from 6.8 million in August to 6.7 million in September.

    Tuesday, Oct. 3
    • The Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-setting arm of the Federal Reserve, meets to discuss interest rates. The general consensus on Wall Street is that interest rates will not be changed.

    • New Home Sales represents the number of new homes sold in the United States for the month. The number is expected to fall from 944,000 in August to 898,000 in September, indicating a slight cooling of the economy.

    Thursday, Oct. 5
    • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits. No estimates were immediately available.

    Friday, Oct. 6

    • Unemployment Rate refers to the percentage of the population that is unemployed. The number is expected to remain unchanged at 4.1 percent.

    Other Events

    Monday, Oct. 2

    • Harvard Law School will moderate a debate among six candidates vying for board spots with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). For more information visit the Internet Democracy Project site.

    • Techtopia West, a Merrill Lynch technology conference, begins in San Francisco. Speakers will include Alain Rossman, CEO of Phone.com; Ray Stata, CEO of Omniguide Communications; and Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget.

    • Convergence 2000, sponsored by the Carmel Group, will take place at the Westin Santa Clara Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif., Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. Speakers will include Transmeta CEO David Ditzel and Liberate CEO Mitchell Kertzman.

    • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Software & IT Conference opens in Paris.

    • The case against Napster will be heard by three federal appellate judges. Oral arguments begin at 11 a.m. PT.

    • The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill to create a Privacy Commission, which would research privacy issues on the Internet and make recommendations to Congress.

    Tuesday, Oct. 3

    • Jupiter Research will host its third annual Jupiter Online Financial Services Forum on online payments and other issues. The conference will take place at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in New York City. Bank of Montreal CEO Tony Comper and Paine Webber CEO Donald Marron will be the keynote speakers.

    • Corning, the world's top maker of fiber-optic cable, is scheduled to split its stock 3-for-1.

    • ASP World Expo will be held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., through Oct. 6.

    Wednesday, Oct. 4

    • Chase Hambrecht & Quist Mobile-Centricity Conference will take place at the W Hotel in New York City through Oct. 5, hosted by wireless analysts Thomas Lee and John Jensen.

    • WR Hambrecht Open Source & Pervasive Computing Conference will take place at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. Speakers include: VA Linux CEO Larry Augustin; Red Hat CTO Michael Tiemann; Caldera Systems CEO Ransom Love; Cobalt Networks CFO Ken Chow; Microsoft vice president Bill Veghte; TiVo senior vice president James Barton; Palm CEO Carl Yankowski; and Handspring co-founder Ed Colligan.

    • CNET News.com and the University of Pennsylvania's Knowledge@Wharton are presenting a Webcast titled "Dot-coms: Down and out? What's next for the Net Economy?" Speakers include Hummer Winblad Venture Partners co-founder Ann Winblad and Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget.

    Also this week
    • Compaq will begin shipping 32-processor Unisys ES7000 servers.

    • SmartPipes, an Internet and networking services firm, will launch a beta of its initial service.

    • Time Warner Cable will announce the purchase of 1 million licenses for BroadJump's high-speed Internet self-installation software.

    • Technology IPOs scheduled this week include Asia Global Crossing, Oplink Communications, Advanced Switching Communications and Informax.

    • Lucent will officially spin off its $7.4 billion corporate networking unit, christened Avaya.