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Cutting Edge

Flash: Say Hello to iPaq
It's official: the Post-PC era has arrived. How do we know? Compaq — the world's largest PC maker — has rolled out a new line of Internet access devices. Branded under the same iPaq name used for the firm's PocketPC handheld computer, the hardware suite is headed up by the Home Internet Appliance, pictured top, a Web-surfing terminal with a wireless keyboard and 10-inch flat screen that Compaq terms "Web in a Box." The two-cable combo (one for power, one for the phone line) switches on instantly like a TV and offers automatic software updates and 24-hour support from Microsoft's MSN Companion Service. Also unveiled were the iPaq Connection Point, middle, which allows home networking, a Personal Audio Player, bottom, for playing MP3 music, and iPaq-stamped versions of Canadian firm Research in Motion's wildly popular Blackberry wireless e-mail pagers.

Gadgets: Put Your PC in a Wrist Lock
If you're always forgetting your password, try strapping it to your wrist. U.S. computer security firm Ensure Technologies is teaming up with watchmaker Ologi to produce the XyLoc, a wearable pass that you'll only forget if you leave it on the bedside table in the morning. A tiny tranceiver embedded in the watch identifies you to your PC as you approach and automatically boots up the machine. Walk away for a moment and the keyboard, mouse and screen all lock up — preventing co-workers or ne'er-do-wells from nosing about in your files. Tasks you have already set in motion, such as downloads or print jobs, carry on regardless. The watches, and their price tags, are due to be unveiled in the spring.

From the Web: Yahoo! Tops Hong Kong Dotcoms
Dismissed by critics as nothing but a name a year ago, is now the third most popular website in the SAR, according to research firm iamasia. The cash-rich portal celebrated by sacking 10 staff, with the aim of staying in the black after posting its first profitable quarter. Yahoo! topped the list, with the home page of Hongkong Telecom's ISP Netvigator (now owned by Richard Li's PCCW) coming in second.

by share of home users, July 2000

1. 53.5%
2. 40.7%
3. 37.9%
4. 36.8%
5. 33.4%
6. 31.9%
7. 31.2%
8. 31.0%
9. 27.5%
10. 26.4%

Cybercrime: Love Bug Suspect Goes Free
Four months after he "accidentally" unleashed a virus that hit an estimated 84 million computers, causing almost $10 billion of damage, Love Bug suspect Onel de Guzman can breathe a sigh of relief. On August 21, Philippines prosecutors dismissed all charges against the 23-year-old Manila computer student. Although President Joseph Estrada signed a law against computer crimes in June, the new legislation cannot be applied retroactively. That left de Guzman facing charges of credit card fraud, which the Justice Department said did not apply to hacking, and theft, for which insufficient evidence was presented by investigators.

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