News In Brief


A startling sight has greeted commuters on Toronto's transit system since last month: a series of ads apparently promoting lipstick for men in bright green or purple. But as it turns out, the campaign - whose only words referred people to an Internet address - was a fake. The whole thing was designed, in fact, to gauge the effectiveness of advertising on the city's buses and streetcars. The advertised Web site has averaged 150 hits a day, and a questionnaire there has elicited responses from both men and women. Yet this isn't the first time such a feat has been pulled off: A similar series has run in Dublin, Ireland.


A music concert in the Florida Keys gave new meaning to the term "sound wave." That's because the event - an annual affair at the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary - was held underwater. About 600 divers soaked in tunes from the Beatles to Jimmy Buffett, piped in via waterproof speakers that were suspended from boats. Adding to the aura was a longhaired mermaid to greet the concertgoers.

Based on sales, IBM takes top spot in 'Software 500'

When it comes to software companies, Microsoft has gotten the lion's share of attention lately, especially because of the antitrust case the government has brought against it. But in a trade publication's recent ranking of the top software companies, Microsoft isn't the one in the brightest spotlight. That position - which Software Magazine determined by worldwide software revenues last year - belonged to IBM. The top 10 of the periodical's "Software 500," with revenues (in billions):

1. IBM $44.9

2. Microsoft 21.6

3. PricewaterhouseCoopers 17.3

4. Oracle 9.3

5. Andersen Consulting 8.9

6. Hewlett-Packard 8.7

7. Compaq 7.8

8. Computer Associates International 6.3

9. Hitachi 5.9

10. SAP AG 5.1

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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