South Korea considers YouTube ban, China unveils supercomputer

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Microsoft announces 3,000 layoffs

Microsoft on Tuesday announced new job cuts that are part of the 5,000 the company said in January that it expected to eliminate.  The company did not say exactly how many people would be affected or describe which groups will lose the positions.  However, in a memo that CEO Steve Ballmer sent to employees and that has been seen by IDG News Service, he said that this round of layoffs nearly completes the planned 5,000 total cuts. In January, the company laid off 1,400 people, so Tuesday’s cuts could be close to 3,000. Washington state, where Microsoft is based, requires companies to disclose layoffs of this size, so within a few days the exact number should become public.

YouTube faces block in South Korea

The South Korean government could force Google to block access to its YouTube Web site in an ongoing dispute over user privacy, Google’s deputy counsel said Monday. At issue is the government’s request that Google comply with a Korean law that forces Web surfers to use their real names and government-issued identification number when posting to widely used Web sites. Google balked at this request earlier this year because the company thought it would be bad for users, said Nicole Wong, speaking at a human rights conference in Berkeley, California. Instead of complying, Google made it impossible to upload and comment on the company’s Web site, the domain mentioned in the Korean government’s request.

Swede is charged for stealing Cisco source code

A Swedish man was indicted on Tuesday in connection with the alleged 2004 theft of source code for Cisco Systems’ IOS (Internetwork Operating System) software.  Philip Gabriel Pettersson, 21, was indicted on one count of intrusion and two counts of misappropriation of trade secrets. He was also indicted on two counts of intrusion involving NASA. IOS runs Cisco’s routers, which handle most of the routing of packets on the Internet. Versions of the code are also at the heart of Cisco LAN switches and other products. In May 2004, parts of the IOS source code were briefly posted to a Russian Web site. Some observers said then that the theft might threaten the Internet by giving malicious hackers a glimpse into Cisco’s proprietary software.

China readies supercomputer for arms development

Blade servers based on microprocessors designed in China will power a supercomputer prototype to be revealed by a government-backed Chinese firm in September, the company said Tuesday. The blade servers, the first running on China’s Godson chips, will later power the country’s first petaflop-class supercomputer slated for completion late next year, said a spokesman for the firm, Dawning. A petaflop computer is capable of performing one million billion “flops,” or floating point operations per second.  The computer unveiled this year will be suited for use in scientific research and arms development, the spokesman said. Dawning will design Godson servers for other markets if it sees demand for them, he said.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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