IBM targets semiconductors
Setting its sights on the multibillion-dollar semiconductor design market, IBM has created a new services unit called IBM Engineering and Technology Services, it announced last week. Chip design work is typically done by small, highly specialised design houses. IBM intends to take advantage of its geographical breadth, technological expertise and IT services experience to create a global services business for the electronics industry, something smaller companies can't offer, an IBM spokesman said. However, analysts agree that IBM's size might work against it. "People may be afraid of IBM being their subcontractor," said Chris Ryan, an analyst with research company Future Horizons.
Apple posts modem fix
Apple Computer in the US has released the Mac OS X Modem Update. The software corrects what Apple describes as "a rare issue" that could cause the built-in modems on some Macs to stop functioning altogether under Mac OS X 10.2, "Jaguar". Modems affected by this problem continue working under Mac OS 9. Apple reports that Macs experiencing the problem will display an error message when trying to dial: "Internet Connect could not open the communications device." This applies both to Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.2.1, and hardware affected by this problem includes certain iBooks, PowerBook G3s and G4s, flat-panel iMacs, eMacs, and Power Mac G4s.
Ubi plays Mysty for Cyan
Game publisher Ubi Soft Entertainment has extended its partnership with Cyan Worlds to develop and publish new games for the Myst franchise through to 2008. Myst co-creator and Cyan founder Rand Miller will continue to develop the Myst series. Myst is one of the all-time bestselling game titles and Ubi Soft is taking the title to the new-generation consoles. The next step is in online gaming; next year, its online division ubi.com plans to launch a new Myst adventure set in the city of D'ni.