IAR Bits and Bytes

Secluda Launches Enterprise Spam Solution A start-up in New Hamsphire has officially launched a beta version of its new enterprise spam product, hoping to elbow its way into a crowded market with more user control and little demand upon the IT department.

Epping, N.H.-based Secluda Technologies rolled out the beta version of its InboxMaster server-level anti-spam product. Unlike some enterprise spam solutions, InboxMaster does not assume that most mail is wanted: It thinks the worst of all email unless the user specifies otherwise.

“E-mail is the weakest link today” for an enterprise, said Jeff Hoey, Secluda’s chief executive and president. “You have to think of email as part of your security system.”

Unlike spam filters that create profiles of spam based on the message’s language or origin, InboxMaster treats all emails as suspicious. This might not be such a bad idea, since about 40 percent of all email is spam, according to leading enterprise anti-spam company Brightmail.

InboxMaster quarantines messages that come from an unknown user — someone who a user has not contacted before or flagged as a trusted sender. The system periodically sends users a report with a description of the messages currently held in quarantine, allowing the user to green light acceptable mail. Otherwise, the system assumes the email is unwanted and purges it.

“Who do you want to make this decision: the technology from a company in California or you?” Hoey asks.

He compares the system to an office receptionist, who treats unscheduled visitors with suspicion unless the boss has met with them before.

InboxMaster’s beta includes seven companies. Hoey would not disclose the test group, but said it includes an Internet service provider with about 15,000 users. Secluda hopes to have its product available through resellers in two to three months. Hoey said it would be priced on subscription and license bases, but the price had yet to be set.

Secluda faces a crowded enterprise anti-spam market, with competition from established providers like Brightmail. Spam is estimated to cost businesses $10 billion a year, according to Ferris Research.

eUniverse Sees Lower Revenue, Profit

Internet entertainment network eUniverse warned investors Wednesday its fourth-quarter fiscal 2003 earnings would be lower than expected.

The Los Angeles-based company said both revenues and net income would suffer from a weak economy made even more shaky by the Iraq war. The company now expects revenues of between $19 and $21 million, down from the $23 million forecast in January. Net income is forecast at below the $3.5 million expected. EUniverse did not provide a revised income target.

“We saw a consumer retreat as the events overseas escalated during the quarter,” said Joe Verraveto, eUniverse’s chief executive. “We continue to be optimistic about the medium-and long-term prospects for eUniverse and have several initiatives in progress that we expect to provide a catalyst for our continued growth.”

After a string of acquisitions, eUniverse had reported solid revenue and earnings growth. Last quarter, the company tripled revenues from a year earlier and returned a $3.3 million profit.

In the last year, eUniverse has made acquisitions, such as email list broker ResponseBase, to boost its paid services and complement its paid content sites like CupidJunction.com, an online dating site. The company runs a stable of content sites, such as FitnessHeaven.com and InfoBeat.com, as well as a number of newsletters.

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