... worth noting 3/6/03



:: Easynet has won a £1m contract extension to hook up 200 schools to the high-speed Internet by the end of March 2004, as part of government plans to boost broadband take-up by installing it in public buildings throughout the country. The deal will also involve the pre-loading of educational Web sites onto the network, which can be accessed by staff and students.

:: Online retail giant Amazon is being sued by digital image company Corbis, which alleges that it processed unauthorised sales of hundreds of celebrity pictures via its Web site. Corbis is seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each work sold through Amazon, which is being held responsible for the sales, although the infringements were the work of some of the 'trusted partners' that feature on its Web site. Amazon has acted quickly to remove those trusted partners involved in the suspected copyright breach from its site. Some 25 poster retailers were named in the lawsuit, along with Amazon.

:: O2 intends to roll out around 1,000 wireless LANs across Europe with the help of ISPs and other partners, following successful trials in Ireland and Germany. The operator is to work alongside third party site owners to minimise the costs of expanding its network, which will be focused around key locations such as airports, hotels and, 'primarily', train stations. It has inked an agreement with European wireless LAN company Excilan to help it launch sites in the UK, a process that will begin later in the year.

:: London-based betting exchange, Betfair has recruited former Financial Times Group CEO Stephen Hill as its new CEO, to replace founder Edward Wray.

:: Tesco.com has sent a spam email to users that signalled a desire not to receive any 'promotional emails' from the online grocer. Under the guise of a 'privacy policy update', the company emailed users to ask them if they 'still don't wish to receive promotional emails from us', along with a link to a 'user preferences' page where they can amend their details.

:: A new Carphone Warehouse-backed mobile initiative has been launched to help parents locate their children. Location-based services specialists Mobile Commerce and MI International have developed mapAmobile to offer parents peace of mind, by enabling them to keep an eye on their children via SMS, telephone or the Internet. The service costs £29.99 for one year's access and 10 location requests, with further requests priced at 30p each. Currently available on Vodafone, Orange and O2, mapAmobile tracks a mobile user through the SIM card, so no additional mobile phone kit is needed to use the service.

:: In a move aimed at bolstering the use of its Microsoft Reader program, the software giant has announced that it will offer free downloads of e-book bestsellers for a 20-week period.