Published: Monday 15 August 1994

NEC Corp, the Tokyo-based electronics concern, plans to dazzle consumers with a 256-megabyte flash memory chip. This "next generation" device, which will be 16 times as powerful as those now in the market, has the potential to beat the conventional dynamic random access memory chips hands down, says nec vice-president Hajime Sasaki. Not only will the new chip have a much shorter access time, it will also consume less energy. Sasaki is confident that the product, which is being developed by nec jointly with the us-based Sun Disk Corp and is to be launched in 1997, will take the place of 25 per cent of the world's hard-disk market by 2000 AD.

The Spanish telecommunications group, Telefonica -- a private sector organisation -- has joined ranks with Unisource, a joint venture of Dutch, Swedish and Swiss telecom groups, which recently linked up with at&t, the largest us telecom concern. The primary objective of this new front is to chalk out a strategy to counter the attempts of the other trans-Atlantic alliance of France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and the us-based Sprint to grab the telecom network in Europe. Telefonica was attracted to Unisource by its successes in the multinational corporate sector. "We also support the Unisource policy toward opening telecommunications markets within Europe," Telefonica chairperson Candido Velazquez-Gaztelu declared.

Baby-snatchers in Scotland beware! Dogged by controversies involving thefts of newly-born infants by bogus nursing staff, hospital authorities all across Scotland were desperately looking for a foolproof security device. Now, the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion in Edinburgh has come up with a unique alarm system, which consists of a postage stamp-size unit. The unit is added to the identity bracelets that are attached to babies' wrists soon after they are born. Every time a baby with the device passes through the ward doors, the alarm bells will go off.

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