TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Sprint Nextel Seeks Affiliate's Value

Sprint Nextel wants appraisers to determine the value of shares of Nextel Partners in the event the affiliate's shareholders push for Sprint Nextel to buy the company. A special committee of Nextel Partners' board has said it would recommend that shareholders trigger a provision to exercise a "put option" sale.

Put options are meant to protect the value of an investment by giving shareholders the right to sell their stock at a certain price by a certain time. In this case, Sprint Nextel would have to buy the two-thirds of the shares it doesn't already own in Nextel Partners.

SECURITY

Risk Rating Raised on Computer Worm

The Zotob computer worm carries a bigger risk of infection than engineers initially thought, as antivirus program makers Symantec and Trend Micro raised their risk ratings on the worm. The program shut down computers at companies including Time Warner's Cable News Network and SBC Communications.

The new malady, a strain of the existing Zotob worm, affects systems running Microsoft's Windows 2000 software.

For the latest on the outbreak and efforts to combat it, see Brian Krebs's Security Fix at www.washingtonpost.com/securityfix.

VIDEO GAMES

Microsoft to Offer 2 XBox Versions

Microsoft's new Xbox video game console will be offered in two versions -- a fully loaded system and a more basic version without a hard drive, wireless controller and other features. The premium Xbox 360 console will sell for $399.99 -- nearly triple the price of the current system, Microsoft announced. Meanwhile, the scaled-back version, Xbox 360 Core System, will go for $299.99.

ENVIRONMENT

Groups Say Electronic Waste Underestimated

Toxic waste from computers, TVs and other electronic devices discarded in the United States and dismantled in China and India is an even more severe problem than previously feared, according to environmental groups that seek better recycling programs.

Researchers from Greenpeace International said in a report that they detected high levels of toxic metals in more than 70 samples collected in March from industrial waste, river sediment, soil and ground water around the southern Chinese city of Guiyu and the suburbs of New Delhi.

LITIGATION

Lucent Wins New Trial in Patent Lawsuit

Lucent Technologies won a new trial of its patent-infringement lawsuit against Extreme Networks from a judge who said Extreme Networks' lawyers "engaged in improper conduct."

The attorneys "crossed the line" by presenting evidence of a past relationship between the two companies that had been declared inadmissible, the judge said.

Lucent sued Extreme in 2003, claiming the company infringed on four patents for managing data.

INTERNET

Yahoo Enhances Its Local Content

Yahoo expanded its local search service to include restaurant reviews by users and maps for specific neighborhoods. The search-engine results include forums for users to find and share information about businesses and services in cities or neighborhoods.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.