Network: Bytes

ONLINE SHOPPING has finally caught on in Britain, according to the Which? Online 1999 Internet report Are You Being Served? Growth of an E-nation.

One-tenth of Net users described themselves as regular online shoppers, and the volume of online trade has doubled since the previous year.

Computer hardware and software - the main purchases in recent years - have been overtaken by books (16 per cent of all transactions) and flights and holidays (13 per cent).

The report noted that although many people still have qualms about buying online, 58 per cent of those online for more than two years have purchased over the Internet, as have a quarter of those who have gone online within the last year.

Almost 40 per cent of British users have been connected in the last year, bringing the total to about 10 million - an increase of 50 per cent from last year. Three-quarters of British users are online for five hours or less a week, during which time they visit an average of 13 sites.

However, traditional worries about the Internet remain unchanged. Pornography, morality and fraud still concern 56 per cent of users. Three-quarters of parents interviewed said that they would not let their children use the Net unsupervised, and the same number of respondents felt that Internet regulation was needed - figures that are unchanged from last year.

THE US government last week reversed its policies on the export of data encryption technology, when President Bill Clinton relaxed government controls.

Under new proposed rules, the government is to allow companies to export their strongest software without an individual licence for each customer, as is currently required. Only one licence will be needed, and companies will help the government to track sales by telling it which retailers it has sold to. It will still be illegal to export encryption products to hostile countries such as Libya and Iraq.

Federal law enforcement and national security organisations have argued that banning the export of strong encryption is necessary to protect national interests.

The Attorney General, Janet Reno, conceded that the liberalisation "will result in greater availability of encryption, which will mean that more terrorists and criminals will use encryption". She added: "We must deal responsibly with that result by attempting to assist law enforcement in its efforts to protect the public safety."

A coalition of technology, business and civil rights groups has taken the line that the Internet needs strong encryption for legitimate uses and that existing legislation has succeeded only in shutting America out of a growing international market.

Various spokesmen welcomed the White House proposals, but cautioned that the shift was aimed at companies rather than individuals, and that the government was still intent on securing legal control of the keys that unlock private messages.

VIRGIN ENTERTAINMENT last week announced that it is launching a service, Virgin JamCast (http://www.jamcast. com/), to allow consumers to download music and games to PCs over the Internet or to other devices such as digital TV set-top boxes.

Virgin has formed a partnership with Wavo, a digital media services provider, whose Internet Protocol multi-casting technology will be used to deliver a weekly collection of files to those who request the service, with content dependent on their interests. The service is more like the old push technology than traditional streaming in that it is delivered to a user's hard disk, rather than having to be listened to in real time. The music, a mix of samples and limited-play versions, will be available in a variety of formats which can be purchased if required.

PALM COMPUTING, the manufacturer of top-selling handheld computers, is to be sold off by the owner, 3Com, which plans to float its Palm division by the end of this year or early next year. Twenty per cent of shares will be released and the remainder distributed to 3Com shareholders.

Although Palm has been successful, with sales of $570m in this financial year, it is peripheral to 3Com's central networking business.

"We think [this announcement] signals the creation of two leaderships focused on separate and complementary businesses," said Eric Benhamou, 3Com chairman and CEO, adding that the spin-off will let 3Com focus on networking and give Palm the management and resources it needs for the popular handheld device to continue to thrive.

He also said the move would free Palm Computing to explore ways of making money other than by selling hardware: licensing of operating systems, computing systems for businesses, wireless data services and Web services were among the areas he identified.

Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
artVoted for by the public, artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried