Bits & Megabytes


Issue: "California's new governor," Oct. 4, 2003

AOL Time Warner denied rumors that it plans to unload America Online even as it drops the brand from its corporate name. Officials at the world's largest media company say they want to fix problems at the Internet service, particularly its eroding subscriber base. AOL is still profitable, but analysts predict it will slowly fade as users depart for faster or more economical competitors.

The new Swen worm capitalizes on PC users' security fears. It pretends to be an update from Microsoft and displays fake error messages. Swen has attacked tens of thousands of computers through e-mail attachments.

Intel unveiled two new chip technologies intended to make PCs more reliable and secure. One, code-named Vanderpool, lets processors run two different operating systems at once. Another invention called LaGrande will help prevent software-based security attacks.

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Microsoft hopes to surpass Google's search-engine dominance with a big push toward new technologies. The software giant is designing services that troll through everything from ordinary websites to digital photos to documents stored on users' hard drives. Some of this work will debut in a new version of MSN, coming this winter.


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