News Briefs

Banks to Release Visa Smart Cards

The U.S. has been lagging behind Europe when it comes to the adoption of smart-card technology, with New York-based American Express Co.'s Blue the only credit card with an embedded chip on the market. That's about to change, as three banks - Providian Financial Corp. in San Francisco, FleetBoston Financial Corp. in Boston and First USA Bank N.A. in Wilmington, Del. - have announced that they will soon be releasing Visa smart cards. According to bank officials, these cards will provide greater security for online shoppers, reduce costs for Web merchants and allow for other services such as electronic ticketing.

Struggling SCO Gets $13.1M Cash Infusion

The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (SCO), which has been buffeted by two straight quarters of losses and recently announced a 19% workforce reduction, last week said it has received a cash infusion of $13.1 million. The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based software vendor said the financing is coming via a private placement facilitated by Security Research Associates Inc., a brokerage in Larkspur, Calif., that plans to sell 3.3 million shares of SCO's stock to its clients.

Short Takes

Apple Computer Inc. last week released the public beta-test version of Mac OS X. It's available online for $29.95. . . . Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., said it will acquire Inc. in Norwood, Mass., for 1.5 million shares of common stock. . . . Digital media software companies Loudeye Technologies Inc. in Seattle and Firepad Inc. in Mountain View said they are working on technology to deliver streaming video and animation to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Palm Inc.'s handheld devices. . . . WorldCom Inc. will appeal a ruling by the European Commission that blocked its $115 billion acquisition of Sprint Corp. . . . Linux systems vendor Red Hat Inc. in Durham, N.C., announced strong second-quarter results, with revenue up 76% to $18.5 million.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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