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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
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.

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy