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APPLE'S iBOOK became the best-selling notebook in retail outlets in the United States last month, according to figures from PC Data. Apple's share of the portable computer market went from 6.5 per cent in September to 11 per cent in October, despite supply shortages in components which have affected all manufacturers and earlier this year prompted Apple to pay $100m to Samsung to ensure its supply.

The blueberry iBook outsold the tangerine version by six to one. The sales figures do not include direct sales, so Dell and Gateway machines do not feature in the data, but of the others Apple (11 per cent) is now the fifth largest producer of notebooks, behind Compaq (27.5 per cent), Toshiba (26 per cent), IBM (15 per cent) and Sony (13.9 per cent).

TIME WARNER today launches a new website, Entertaindom, promoting its entertainment resources. In addition to classic Loony Tunes characters, original programming and animation, including a 3D version of Superman, will be featured. Delivery will be via various streaming technologies, including Flash.

The company anticipates attracting up to three million visitors a month. Revenue will come mostly from advertising and selling space for e-commerce outfits to link from. Fifteen advertisers, including Microsoft, Intel and JC Penney have already signed up. Eventually the site will also charge for premium content.

AOL EUROPE and Intel have entered into an agreement to make PC purchase and Internet access more affordable in an effort to bring European figures for PC ownership (14 per cent of households) in line with those of the US (44 per cent).

AOL will work with various manufacturers to provide a package of hardware using a Pentium III processor with Internet access included in the price. The deal will begin on a country-by-country basis over the winter, starting with a rebate on Fujitsu Siemens PCs bought by new CompuServe members in the UK.

THE US government last week released its draft proposals for changes to laws on the overseas sales of strong encryption technologies. However, industry groups say the proposals do not go far enough and may even make export more complicated.

Most of the problems are to do with the fact that some controls are being retained and are couched in language that is so vague and open to interpretation that it complicates rather than simplifies procedures. Certain classes of hardware, such as high-end routers, have not had restrictions lifted.

"Instead of a clean lifting of export restrictions, we have a complicated morass of regulations," Ed Gillepsie, director of Americans For Computer Privacy, said. Robert Holleyman, president and chief executive of the Business Software Alliance, said: "[The] draft falls short of what was promised on 16 September when the administration said that the new regulations would shift the current process from an antiquated licensing scheme to a realistic reporting scheme."

AMD IS set to retake its position as supplier of the highest speed desktop PC chip with the release of its 750MHz Athlon today. With supplies of Intel's coppermine Pentium IIIs still experiencing some difficulties, some commentators say AMD could find itself back in favour with manufacturers such as Gateway which had previously abandoned AMD in favour of using Intel exclusively.

Earlier shortages of suitable motherboards have been reversed, boosting sales of AMD processors and the company says it has sold out of some speed categories of its K6-2 processors.

"The 750MHz Athlon systems should be available from top-tier producers by year's end, a quarter ahead of schedule," AMD chief executive, Jerry Saunders, said.

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