News Briefs

Database Problem Snags

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Internet presence was shuttered for approximately nine hours last Wednesday because of database problems. A spokeswoman for Inc. in Brisbane, Calif., said an unspecified database glitch caused the company's entire Web site to go down around 1 a.m. PDT on April 11. The problem was fixed by 9:50 a.m.

Fleet Hoists E-Billing

Boston-based FleetBoston Financial Corp. is deploying an online statement and electronic-billing application that will allow consumers to access and manage their monthly bills at Fleet's online banking sites. The application, which the bank is licensing from Natick, Mass.-based Edocs Inc., will also enable Fleet to offer its corporate customers the ability to send customer statements and invoices and receive payments electronically.

More Pink Slips at Consulting Firms

Blaming the slowdown in IT spending, accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers last week said it's cutting 750 to 1,000 jobs from its U.S. consulting unit, while Internet consulting firm Scient Corp. said it's cutting 675 jobs, or 52% of its workforce. Scient also warned of wider-than-expected losses for its fourth quarter and said it may cut an additional 175 jobs in the coming months. In December, Scient slashed 460 jobs; In January, PricewaterhouseCoopers cut 400 jobs from its U.S. consulting unit.

Short Takes

Online delivery trailblazer Kozmo Inc. shut down its Web site, ceased delivery operations and said it would liquidate all assets. . . . Intel Corp.'s new Itanium processor exceeded Intel's own benchmark for processing speed in an independent test by NetWorkshop Inc., an IT services firm in Montreal. . . . Ailing Internet consulting firm MarchFirst Inc.'s U.S. subsidiaries and affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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