Napster founder in AppleSoup

The founder and investors of online music distributor Napster have founded a new company, AppleSoup.

The company will offer digital downloads of books, films and videos, and the company plans to begin beta testing its file-sharing technology within six to eight weeks.

The peer-to-peer network operates somewhat like Napster, but unlike the music distributor, AppleSoup will require the copyright holders' approval. Napster found extreme popularity with online users who like to download MP3 files, but sparked a flurry of lawsuits from the music recording industry due to copyright issues.

Men dominate the Internet outside US

Men continue to dominate Internet usage outside US, latest data from analyst Nielsen/NetRatings reports. May figures from Australia, Ireland,New Zealand, Singapore and the UK show the demographic split remains heavily weighted towards men, with a slight weight towards females in the US.

Males across all markets also spent between two and three hours longer surfing than females.

Outside the US, the female audience is still primarily visiting portals like in Australia.

Oracle on ASP track

Oracle is gearing up to make a number of announcements related to deals with application service providers (ASPs) to host its ERP and CRM applications by the end of the month.

Reports surfaced late last month that the US database, tools and applications vendor was experiencing a change of heart over its decision last year not to work with ASPs. Previously, Oracle had determined to go its own way with its application hosting unit Oracle Business OnLine.

A spokesperson for Oracle said that Oracle teaming up with ASPs shouldn't be seen as meaning that the company's Business OnLine hosting service has failed.

Spike hits spike

Online media group Spike Networks said last week it expected losses for the year to June 30 to amount to about $27 million.

It said its estimate was based on consolidated revenues of about $17 million.

The estimated loss was in line with results for the six months to December 31 last year which reported a net loss of about $12.8 million, the company

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