IT briefs: A round-up of items related to yesterday's terrorist attack

Indus continues canceled user show

ORLANDO, FLA. -- After canceling its user show yesterday afternoon, Indus International Inc. last night announced that a scaled-down event would continue through today as had originally been planned.

Tuesday morning, Indus CEO Kent Hudson interrupted a general session at IndusWorld to announce the disaster in New York. Soon after, executives decided to cancel the remainder of the show. But a number of users felt that as flights were already canceled, they might as well continue with conference sessions and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

"All of us feel terrible," said Tom Thompson, manager of the business solutions project at Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Ore., and one of the users who opted to continue the event. "But people have been waiting to get together for this show, and we don't want to let anybody stop this."

He noted that a number of the people in attendance were from the utilities industries and "these people believe in this country."

Indus said it planned to bus employees back to its headquarters in Atlanta.

Gartner offers free disaster help

The attack on the U.S. has moved market research firm Gartner Inc. to make its library of research available to all for free and schedule public conference calls on disaster recovery, security and business-continuity planning.

What Gartner calls Open Forum conference calls have been planned for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT. Calls will also be held Sept. 17 and 18. Analysts will be available to help organizations make decisions in the wake of the recent tragic events, Gartner said.

Gartner can't give out general advice because "each company is working with different situations," Gartner spokeswoman Carol Wallace said.

The offices of Gartner in Lowell, Mass., and Trumbull, Conn., were among the many buildings evacuated as a precaution yesterday. The building in Lowell also houses some government offices, while the Trumbull location is the trading floor of the Nasdaq exchange, Wallace said.

The number to call for the conference calls is (800) 553-2197 (ID No. 1217931) from inside the U.S. and (303) 276-1001 (ID No. 1217931) from outside the U.S. Gartner research is available online; the log-in name for access is emergency, and the password is response.

Major Web sites begin accepting Red Cross donations

Some major Web sites are accepting donations to the Red Cross and for disaster relief. Amazon.com and Yahoo.com are both accepting donations to the Red Cross through their Web sites.

Paybyweb Inc., a provider of financial services, has implemented a Donate for Disaster Relief fund. The company said the service was set up to help reduce the heavy volume of online visitors to the Red Cross and other sites, which are so clogged with Web traffic that they have become inaccessible.

Asian tech stocks tumble, end sharply lower

Asian stock markets tumbled today in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks that cost an unknown number of lives and brought the U.S. financial and political capitals to a halt yesterday.

In Tokyo, where the start of trading was delayed by 30 minutes, the stocks of technology companies were among the biggest losers. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. tumbled 9.3%; Toshiba Corp. was down 8.5%; NEC Corp. dropped 8%; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. was off 7.4%; Hitachi Ltd. fell 6%; and Sony Corp. saw its shares slide 5%.

The overall market, measured by the Nikkei 225 index, closed down 6.6%, at 9,610.10, its lowest point since December 1983. Trading on the foreign section, which includes companies such as IBM, Motorola Inc., Apple Computer Corp., Alcatel SA, British Telecommunications PLC and Deutsche Telekom AG, was suspended for the day in response to the closure of U.S. markets.

In South Korea, major consumer electronics maker Samsung Electronics Co. saw its stock hammered 13.6% as the Kospi index recorded a 12% decline, to 464.90 points. The All Ordinaries index in Australia lost 3.8% to close at 3,062.8 points. Telecommunications carrier Telstra Corp. lost 4.5%, while media company News Corp. was down 10.6%. Stocks in New Zealand, which was the first Asian market to open after the attacks, closed down 4.6 percent.

The market in Singapore followed other regional markets down and was trading off 8.7% late in the day. Losers outnumbered winners by 320 to 5 at 3:20 p.m. local time. Creative Technology Ltd. was down 13.2%, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. was off 7.8%, and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. fell 5.1%. In Hong Kong, the key Hang Seng index was off 10.1%, at 9,366 points at 3:30 p.m. local time.

U.S. markets will remain closed today.

Joris Evers and Martyn Williams of the IDG News Service and Marc L. Songini and Marian Prokop of Computerworld contributed to this report.

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