Schwarzenegger, I-O-U Y2K, London Cabbies and Hold The Fire!

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Ready to Arnold Schwarzenegger promoting his new movie "End of Days" on NBC's today show told host Matt Lauer: "Here's another idea of what could happen at the end of the millennium. The devil could return." Matt forgot to ask Arnold if he had a 666 on his forehead. Haste La Vista..Baby.

So how much do I owe this guy? The inventor of the windowing technique used by at least 70percent of companies to fix Y2K problems last week began billing businesses for using the technique, for which he has held a patent since 1998. Most businesses did not know about the patent, and experts claim windowing was in use long before McDonnell Douglas employee Bruce Dickens received his patent.

Now Dickens is asking companies to pay thousands or even millions of dollars in licensing fees for using the short-term fix, which relies on pivot dates. Dickens last week sent letters to Fortune 500 and InformationWeek 500 companies requesting payment based on a firm's revenue. We see how far he gets.

Partygoers intending to see in the New Year in London be warned: the government has given the official green light to double fares for New Year's Eve cab rides. The double rate will apply for all fares up to 25 pounds (40 dollars, 37.5 euros) between 2000 GMT on December 31 and 0600 GMT on January 1, 2000. London's 23,000 cabbies would have to abide by a ceiling of 25 pounds on additional fares per trip.

Organizers of London's Millennium celebrations are at odds with broadcasters over the timing of a midnight "river of fire" pyrotechnic display along the River Thames. The television companies want the spectacle to be delayed until the final "bong" of Big Ben so they can transmit Millennium images from around the country. A BBC spokesman denied they had threatened to refuse to televise the event but admitted there was a "bottleneck".

DATE: 11/16/99

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