News briefs Agrees To Settle Lawsuit

Online retailer Inc. has agreed to pay $575,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of customers over a pricing glitch on the company's Web site. isn't acknowledging any wrongdoing as part of the proposed settlement agreement. But the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company agreed to pay $50 to each of the customers represented in the suit.

The lawsuit stems from a pricing error on a 19-in. computer monitor from Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd., which was briefly listed on the site in February 1999 for $164.50 - far below its normal price of $564.50. said the glitch was the result of a clerical error. The company honored the lower price for the monitors it had in stock but refused to ship any more monitors at that price.

Another IE Security Hole Surfaces

Microsoft Corp. developers last week were working on a patch to a newly discovered hole in the Internet Explorer browser that could allow hackers to gain read-only access to files and Web pages. Georgi Guninski, a Bulgarian computer-bug hunter, found a hole in Internet Explorer 5.05 and Outlook Express 5.01 that allows attackers to gain read-only access to remote systems by sending an e-mail or by inviting a user to view a Web site.

Microsoft wouldn't confirm when it was notified of the hole.

Short Takes

San Diego-based data-management software vendor Motiva Software Corp. unexpectedly ceased operations on Oct. 13. . . . Music publishers said they have reached a tentative licensing agreement with online music company Inc. in San Diego that would allow MP3 to use more than 1 million songs as part of its Web-based service. . . . Palo Alto, Calif.-based AltaVista Co. has started searching for a new top officer after CEO Rod Schrock said he was leaving the company effective immediately to spend more time with his family.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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