Friday, December 02, 2005

Adam Curry Gets Podbusted

Daniel Terdiman writes in the C|Net Media Blog:

The true genesis of podcasting has always been disputed in one corner of the blogosphere or another. In general, though, the main names that get the lion's share of the credit are former MTV VJ Adam Curry and blogging pioneer Dave Winer.

In general, Curry has been the poster child for the technology, probably because of his high-profile early career. But now, a flap that exploded in the blogosphere is calling Curry to task for how much credit he's been taking for creating podcasting and for how much credit he's been willing to give.

The kerfuffle stems from a controversy over the Wikipedia article about podcasting. Essentially, Curry is accused of anonymously editing out information in the article that discusses some others' roles in the creation of the technology while at the same time pumping up his own role.

In particular, he was said to have entirely deleted sections of the article, which addressed innovations originally talked about by Technorati principal engineer Kevin Marks.

Microsoft Makes IE Changes To Avoid Eolas Patent Issues

Susan Kuchinskas writes on

Microsoft changed the way its browser handles ActiveX controls in response to the ongoing Eolas patent infringement suit.

The company gathered about 20 large Web publishers and interactive advertising agencies at its Silicon Valley campus on Friday to brief them about the change -- and how they could minimize its effects.

More: The Best of Rejected Advertising

Thanks to John Paczkowski over on Good Morning, Silicon Valley for bringing this to our attention. Props.

These examples from the forthcoming book, Best Rejected Advertising Volume Three, are print ads, TV and radio commercials that prompted consumer complaints.

All campaigns are published alongside the rulings or adjudications from national advertising standard authorities or comparable self-regulating organizations.

By presenting the material from European and Overseas countries we hope to offer a view of the process of self-regulation practiced by national Advertising Standard Authorities in each country, as well as of national standards of "taste & decency" in those countries.


Lawsuit Accuses AOL of Illegal Billing

An AP newswire article by Jim Suhr, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

A lawsuit seeking to potentially cover hundreds of thousands of America Online Inc. subscribers accuses the Time Warner Inc. unit of illegally billing customers by creating secondary accounts for them without their consent.

The lawsuit, filed last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court [Illinois] on behalf of 10 AOL customers in six states, claims the company confused and deceived customers about the charges, stalled them from canceling unauthorized accounts and refused to return questioned fees.

Update: First RIAA Lawsuit Heads to Trial

As an update to a story that I mentioned yesterday, Ray Beckerman writes in The Recording Industry vs. The People blog:

Patricia Santangelo, the defendant in Elektra v. Santangelo, in White Plains Federal Court, filed her answer [.pdf] to the RIAA's complaint on Friday, December 2nd.

In it, she demanded a trial by jury.

You may recall that Patricia Santangelo, a divorced mother of five living in Wappingers Falls, New York, is taking her case to trial. She recently found herself the target of an RIAA lawsuit and vowed to contest it, claiming that she knows nothing about downloading music online.

Internet Explorer Still Vulnerable After Two Weeks Notice

Via Red Herring.

Nearly two weeks after Microsoft issued an advisory about a security problem with its Internet Explorer web browser, the software giant still hasn’t released a patch to fix it, leaving millions of users vulnerable to hackers, security vendors warned Friday.

The security vulnerability that allows hackers to launch malicious software onto computers through web sites affects all Windows users except those running Windows Server 2003, Microsoft said in its advisory released November 21.

But the software giant has still not issued a patch to fix the issue. Typically, Microsoft issues fixes for holes in its software in the form of monthly patches released on the second Tuesday of every month, called “Patch Tuesday.” Microsoft’s next bundle of security patches is not due until December 13.

UPenn Drops Action Over Naked Website Photos

An AP newswire article by JoAnn Loviglio , via The Globe and Mail, reports that:

The University of Pennsylvania has dropped disciplinary charges against a student who posted photos on the Web of a naked couple apparently having sex in front of a dorm room window.

The student, a junior engineering major, had been accused by the Ivy League school of violating its code of student conduct and policies on sexual harassment and use of electronic resources.

Cingular Walkie-Talkie Service to Rival Nextel

Via Reuters.

Cingular Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile phone service, plans on Monday to introduce a walkie-talkie feature aimed at stealing customers from Sprint Nextel Corp., currently the leader in that market.

Cingular, the wireless venture of AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp. is the last of the big three U.S. mobile providers to offer the feature, which was popularized by Nextel Communications, now part of Sprint Nextel.

Japan Abandons 'IPod Tax' Idea

An AP newswire article by Yuri Kageyama, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Japan is forgoing a copyright law revision to charge royalties on digital music players — a proposal dubbed the "iPod tax" — after discussions in a government panel produced no consensus on ways to police violations.

The decision Thursday from the Cultural Agency committee followed yearlong debate over how outdated the nation's system for levying an extra copyright fee on gadgets had grown, given the dramatic social changes in recent years in the digital content business, said government official Hiroyuki Suzuki.

MSN Messenger Adds Two New IM Bots

Via BetaNews.

Microsoft released two new MSN Messenger bots this week, but took a noticeably different approach in introducing them to users by first asking. Competitor AOL caused quite a stir this month when it automatically added two AIM bots to its users' Buddy Lists, which resulted in a flood of complaints.

The bots from MSN offer answers to questions from Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia, as well as BBC television listings. Users can start sessions with the automated services by saying "hello" and following the prompts. Those interested can add and to their contact lists in order to test out of the bots.

Ericsson to Deploy Taiwan Optical Network

Via Ericsson.

Ericsson has been selected by 3G operator VIBO Telecom for the deployment of an AXX optical metro network across Taiwan. The contract win further expands Ericsson's leadership in the transmission market for mobile broadband.

Under the contract, Ericsson is supplying its advanced AXX 9300 METRO solution to VIBO, for the build-out of a new metro network across Taiwan. The network is expected to meet VIBO's need for enhanced coverage and capacity, providing a cost-efficient, future-proof multi-service transport platform for the delivery of advanced 3G services and IP traffic.

Internet Ad Growth Pressures TV to Change

A Reuters newswire article by Peter Henderson, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Internet advertisers and marketing professionals have a message for television networks: get ready to change the way you work.

As Internet advertising grabs a bigger share of marketing budgets and ad agencies tailor spots to a new medium where attention spans can be measured in split seconds, television networks will have to adjust, executives told the Reuters Media and Advertising Summit this week.

The DMCA Should Not Protect Spyware

Ed Felton writes on Freedom to Tinker:

Yesterday was the deadline to submit requests for limited exemptions from the DMCA’s ban on circumvention of access control technologies. This happens every three years. Alex Halderman and I submitted a request, asking for an exemption that would allow the circumvention of compact disk copy protection technologies that have certain spyware-ish features or create security holes.

Many people decided not to submit exemption requests in this round, because of the way previous rounds have been handled. For example, the EFF argues that the process is so strongly tilted against exemptions, and the Copyright Office tries so hard to find excuses not to grant exemptions, that there is no point in asking for one. Even Seth Finkelstein, the only person who has had any real record of success in the process, decided to sit out this round. I submitted requests for research-related exemptions in 2000 and 2003; and having seen how those requests were handled, I sympathize with the skeptics’ position.

Nevertheless, I think it’s worth asking for this exemption, if only to see whether the Copyright Office will acknowledge that copy protection technologies that install spyware or otherwise endanger the security or privacy of citizens are harmful. Is that too much to ask?

Dotcom Contract Under EC Investigation

Kieren McCarthy writes in TechWorld:

The contract for renewing ownership of all dotcoms domains is under investigation by the European Commission following a complaint that it is anti-competitive.

An umbrella group calling itself the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT), has filed a preliminary complaint in Brussels claiming that the details of the contract between Internet overseeing organisation ICANN and registrar VeriSign breach EC laws.

Wanted: Some Hope for Newspapers

A Fortune article by Adam Lashinsky, via CNN/Money, reports that:

Craigslist, the mostly free online classifieds Web site, is about to make more money. The company plans in 2006 to begin charging employers to post job listings in four new cities: Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Seattle.

It's also set to collect a nominal fee, no more than $10, from New York City real estate brokers for their property listings.

Hotmail Worm/Virus Infection Breaking Email?

Via eMail Battles.

Since 29 November, millions of Comcast subscribers have been unable to send email to MSN or Hotmail. Comcast reports:

Emails sent from subscribers to MSN or email accounts will be denied and the subscriber will receive the error "550 permit denied". This is caused by a problem on Microsoft´s end caused by a virus. Microsoft is actively working to correct the issue. No ETC was supplied. Abuse will continue to monitor the situation and updates will be posted when available.

Subscribers that have attempted to send emails to MSN/Hotmail prior to the block may receive the error message "Delivery status: Failed. Message could not be delivered to the domain - Failed to accept the recipients. MTA Response: 551" today as a result of the current block. Abuse is tracking the issue.

EU Ministers Agree to Compromise on Telecom Data

An AFP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

European Union interior and justice ministers struck a compromise on a controversial plan to increase police access to telephone and Internet records, diplomats said.

The measures could oblige businesses to keep details about callers, such as to whom they spoke, where and when, for up to two years. They would apply to land telephone lines and mobile phones, text messages, and Internet data.

Police would not have access to the conversation or message itself.

Major U.S. Cable Companies Raising Rates

An AP newswire article, via The Mercury News, reports that:

The nation's biggest cable companies are boosting their rates by single-digit percentages, citing rising costs for programming and investment in new services.

Industry leader Comcast Corp. is raising the rate on its most popular cable package by an average of 6 percent next year in all markets, while No. 2 Time Warner Cable customers are being asked to pay an average 3.1 percent more for its expanded basic package and 1.9 percent more for its limited basic plan.

Austin's Forgent Networks Losses Deepen

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Forgent Networks Inc., which develops and licenses intellectual property and makes scheduling software, reported a hefty loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2006, as revenue dropped by more than 40 percent.

Forgent still has federal litigation pending against nearly 40 companies for infringement of the company's JPEG-related photo patent, also known as the '672 patent.

Best Buy Extortionist Loses in Court

Declan McCullagh writes in C|Net News:

Thomas Eli Ray was convicted of attempting to extort $2.5 million from Best Buy by threatening to exploit a breach in its computer security. He appealed the conviction, saying someone else sent the e-mails.

Best Buy received a series of e-mail messages in October 2003 demanding $2.5 million to prevent its computers from being trashed. The company called the FBI.

Federal agents traced the e-mail messages to three different accounts, one belonging to Ray.

During a Nov. 22, 2005 appeals hearing, his conviction was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Netcraft: December 2005 Web Server Survey

Via Netcraft.

In the December 2005 survey we received responses from 74,353,258 sites. That's a decrease of 219.5K sites from the November survey, marking the first decline in the Netcraft survey since January 2003. Thus, a record year for Internet growth has ended with a whimper rather than a bang. After gaining 17.5 million sites in the first 10 months of 2005, the Internet lost 30,000 sites over the next two months.

This month's results are influenced by a decline of 1 million hostnames at Zipa, a New Orleans provider of hosting and colocation. Zipa added 1 million new hostnames in our September survey, and had an identical number of domains expire this month, the majority of these being .name domains. The pattern suggests the expiring domains may have been .name domains registered through a promotion which allowed registrars to bulk-register .name domains for free for 60 days. Last month's results were also weighed down by a block of expiring domains, in that case more than 800K .info names registered by eNom. fix

Via Enjoy!

Grateful Dead 'Reversal' on Fan-Recordings is a Smokescreen

Cory writes over on Boing Boing:

[...] stories about various Grateful Dead spokespeople and band-alumni making promises to reverse their attack on fan-recordings that are hosted at the the Internet Archive (these recordings were made by dedicated fans with the band's explicit blessing, and have been the core of an decades-old evangelical unpaid promotional campaign by Deadheads that has returned a gigantic fortune for the band).

However, it appears that all the talk about "communications SNAFUs" was a smokescreen for a half-assed compromise that leaves the highest-quality recordings available only as streams, meaning that they can no longer be simply downloaded from the Archive and traded on.

A Stealth Take Over of 2Wire?

Props go out to Om Malik, who writes in his Next Generation Internet blog this morning:

Alcatel, AT&T and Telmex have done what amounts to a quasi-takeover of 2Wire, a San Jose-based DSL modem maker with plans to deliver a triple set-top box. In a news release this morning, Alcatel and 2Wire announced that the french company was taking a 25% stake in 2Wire.

Buried in the same press release is information that company formerly known as SBC (aka AT&T) and Carlos Slim was taking a minority stake in the company.

User Friendly: SETI 419 Scam


Click for larger image.

China To Require All Mobile Phone Users to Register

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

China will soon require all mobile phone users to register with telecom providers or face a cutoff in service, state media reported Friday.

The new rule, announced by the Ministry of Information Industry, is part of a crackdown on telephone fraud and illegal text-messaging practices, and the country's thriving trade in counterfeit and otherwise illegally obtained mobile phones.

It is also expected to help authorities control "improper political commentary," the news report said.

Atheist Group Offers Free Porn in Exchange for Bibles

Here's a rather humorous snippet, via Boing Boing.

Tech angle: none, of course. :-)

Atheist Agenda, an atheist group at U Texas San Antonio, staged a "Porno for Bibles" event, where they gave free pornography to people who traded in religious scripture.

Cisco Stock Stagnates -- Hence, Dog and Pony Show

Chris Kraeuter writes in Forbes:

Cisco Systems may dominate the networking industry, and it may have some of the most enviable profit margins in the technology sector. But it also has a stock price that's been stuck in the doldrums for a year now.

The world's largest networking company will trot out its top executives next week in front of roughly 400 investment and industry analysts for two days of presentations, tours and evangelizing.

Juniper Helps Deploy IPv6 in China

Sean Michael Kerner writes on

What may turn out to be the world's largest IPv6 network is going to be using Juniper Networks's routing platform to handle the next generation of Internet traffic.

Juniper has announced that the China Next Generation Internet (CNGI) IPv6 project will be powered by Juniper's M- and T-series routing platforms. Financial terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

Adobe to Close Macromedia Acquisition on Saturday

Martyn Williams writes in InfoWorld:

Adobe Systems expects its acquisition of Macromedia to close on Saturday, the company said Thursday.

The deal was announced in April this year but required clearance from shareholders and regulators before it could reach completion. The relevant clearances either have been received or will be received to complete the deal on Saturday, the company said.

Warez Servers in Germany Confiscated by Police

Jan Libbenga writes in The Register:

German police have confiscated five warez servers with 6 terabytes of illegal copies of movies and games in the German town of Coburg on the fringes of northern Bavaria. The servers, with names as Temptation and Paradise Island, were accessible to over 1,200 people for € 30 to 120 per month. Police arrested at least one 26 year old.

It is by far the biggest strike against a warez site in Germany since authorities hit, a site operated by a 46 year-old lawyer and two brothers from Thuringia, who offered bootleg software, games and movies through a high speed download service.

Anti piracy organisation GVU worked closely with police forces from Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Arnsberg and Meschede on yesterday's bust. Police also searched houses in Berlin, Bremen, Deggendorf and even in Switzerland. The servers ran for over a year, during which at least 130 terabytes of illegal movies and games were uploaded.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

RIM Gets Some Good News in Patent Case

Greg Sandoval writes in C|Net News:

Battered by two recent setbacks in court, Research In Motion won a round in its long-running patent fight against NTP on Thursday when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected one of the claims by RIM's adversary.

Patent-holding firm NTP contends that it owns the patents for the technology that powers RIM's BlackBerry handheld devices, but the Patent Office recently received information that a Norwegian firm may have filed patents prior to NTP, according to various media sources. The ruling by the Patent Office is not final and NTP will have an opportunity to file a response.

First RIAA Lawsuit Heads to Trial

Nate Anderson writes over on

The National Law Journal reports that the RIAA has launched 14,800 lawsuits in the last two years in an attempt to clamp down on file swapping. But what's striking about the RIAA's tactics is that out of all 14,800 lawsuits, not a single one has gone to trial. That's about to change.

Patricia Santangelo, a divorced mother of five living in Wappingers Falls, New York, is taking her case to trial. She recently found herself the target of an RIAA lawsuit and vowed to contest it, claiming that she knows nothing about downloading music online.

Russinovich to Join Sony BMG Class Action Suit

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

The security researcher whose examination of anti-piracy software included on many Sony BMG music CDs sparked a public firestorm has been hired as an expert witness in a nationwide class-action lawsuit against the company, Security Fix has learned.

Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals will be joining the legal team led by New York attorney Scott Kamber, who filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Sony BMG and First4Internet, the British company that produced the anti-piracy software. (This may be nothing, but First4Internet's Web site is looking rather Spartan at the moment.)

Russinovich said he opted to join the suit because he "wanted to make sure that a message was sent loud and clear to Sony and hopefully to the rest of the industry. And if a technical expert is required to back up the suit, then that’s what I’m willing to do to make sure that message gets driven home."

Austin: AMD Donates $100K to Basic Needs Charity

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. donated $100,000 to the Basic Needs Coalition of Central Texas.

The money will be used for the Best Single Source project, which links agencies together on the Web and helps families in need find services among the area's nonprofits. The funds will help the coalition to help the evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Basic Needs Coalition of Central Texas is an alliance of non-profit agencies that pool together their resources and information to meet the basic needs of individuals, such as food, housing and clothing.

ACLU Joins Fight Against Internet Surveillance

Caron Carlson writes in eWeek:

The American Civil Liberties Union today joined an expanding group of organizations filing lawsuits against a new rule that increases the FBI's power to conduct surveillance on the Internet.

The rule being challenged is one the Federal Communications Commission adopted in September, granting an FBI request to expand wiretapping authority to online communications.

The commission ruled that the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act applies to voice-over-IP providers whose services can connect with the public switched telephone network.

U.S. Telecom Experts Call for Reduced Regulation

Grant Gross writes in InfoWorld:

Current U.S. government communications regulations that create a dividing line between telecommunications and Internet services make no sense and may be inhibiting the U.S. economy, a group of telecom experts said Thursday.

The U.S. Congress needs to pass a comprehensive overhaul of telecommunications law, focused on removing regulations on carriers trying to provide enhanced broadband services such as video over IP, said panelists at a Forum on Technology and Innovation event in Washington, D.C.

Domain Group Gets ICANN Injunction Hearing

Jim Wagner writes on

VeriSign and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) avoided a temporary restraining order but still face a day in court soon.

A judge with the U.S. District Court in San Jose will hear arguments by the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) for a preliminary injunction to block a proposed agreement between ICANN and VeriSign.

The 'Big T' Returns to the Dow Jones

Paul Shread writes on

What's the point of buying one of the biggest brand names in U.S. business history if you're not going to use it?

That seems to be the thinking of the former SBC Communications, which adopted the AT&T name after the companies' merger closed two weeks ago. The company completed the name transition Thursday when it dropped the ticker symbol "SBC" for "T," the symbol AT&T had traded under since 1930. The move also marks the return of Big T to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, where it resided for 74 years until Ma Bell was dropped from the index in April 2004.

Yahoo! Using Online Behavior to Target Ads

A Reuters newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Yahoo Inc. aims to boost the effectiveness of its advertising -- and rates -- by targeting ads to users based on their surfing behavior on its site, the company's advertising sales chief said on Thursday.

"The new, new thing at Yahoo, even though we've had variations of this, is getting much more into behavioral targeting," Yahoo Executive Vice President Greg Coleman told the Reuters Media and Advertising Summit in New York.

Search functions on Yahoo and rival Google Inc base ad placement on words searched, but the Yahoo behavioral targeting would use other factors.

Windows OneCare. Do You Dare?

Via eMail Battles.

You've heard Windows OneCare is Microsoft's attempt to wipe out the anti-virus and firewall vendors. You agree that it oughta be free, since Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities trigger the need for Windows Onecare. And you're worrying that Microsoft has once again put the gun to its own head, triggering anti-trust suits that will cause it to spend another five years contemplating its bellybutton.

Those are the least of your worries. Windows OneCare may cause irreparable harm to your system.

Read more here.

Neutron Stars, Not Black Holes, at Center of Galaxies?

Image source: / CHANDRA Observatory


For the past 50 years, black holes have been all the rage. Now, a University of Missouri-Rolla researcher says they never existed.

Scientists have long believed that hydrogen fusion generates heat and light in the sun and other ordinary stars for billions of years before a star collapses into a neutron star or black hole when its fuel is exhausted. “Most scientists think neutron stars are dead matter, rather than energized, and might collapse further to form black holes at the center of galaxies,” says Dr. Oliver Manuel, a professor of nuclear chemistry at UMR. “In this scenario, the end game is the end of light as we know it.”

ICANN: No Decision On .xxx TLD

A Reuters newswire article by Allan Dowd, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

The fate of the proposed .xxx Internet domain for sex sites, which has drawn fire from U.S. conservative groups, remains in limbo, according to the head of the group that oversees the Web domain system.

Paul Twomey, president of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers said on Thursday the group is still awaiting the recommendations of an advisory committee reviewing the proposal, and has no plans to make a decision at ICANN's meeting this week in Vancouver.

Australia: Telstra Fiber Sorely Tested

Michael Sainsbury and Chris Jenkins write in Australia IT:

Telstra's $5 billion residential fibre network appears fated to be put on ice after Communications Minister Helen Coonan rebuffed the company's plea for new legislation to protect its plans.

Without such certainty, the company said, it would pull the plan and accelerate the roll-out of a new high-speed mobile phone network instead.

The telco renewed its attack on regulations yesterday with a 2 1/2-hour briefing in Sydney, claiming restrictive competition rules would wipe $6.1 billion off its value over the next 10 years.

Heads Roll at Nortel -- And More Are Expected

Jim Duffy writes in NetworkWorld:

In a sign of a further shakeup to come, Nortel has dismissed two senior-level executives two weeks after a new CEO took up the reins of the troubled company.

Nortel confirmed that Brian Mc Fadden, a 28-year Nortel veteran, and Sue Spradley, who'd been at the company 18 years, left the beleaguered telecom vendor Monday. McFadden had been chief research officer and Spradley president of global services and operations.

Nortel gave no reason for their departures.

Uganda: Telecom Firms Complain About Government Inertia

A UPI newswire article, via, reports that:

Telecom companies in Uganda are reportedly growing suspicious about the government's perceived reluctance to finalize a new telecom policy.

A report in Thursday's Monitor indicated that the information and telecom sector is beginning to doubt Kampala's commitment to overhauling the previous policy that had left telecoms virtually in the hands of two companies -- Mobile Telecommunications Network and Uganda Telecommunications Ltd.

Fox Says It's Open to iTunes Deal

Via Reuters.

Fox Filmed Entertainment is open to a deal with Apple Computer's iTunes music and video service, its co-chairman said on Thursday.

"Of course, we'd be open to that. We believe it would be a great opportunity," James Gianopulos said at the Reuters Media and Advertising Summit.

Apple recently began selling some ABC TV network shows and music videos on its iTunes service, for play on its new iPod digital music and video player.

Seigenthaler: A False Wikipedia 'Biography'

John Seigenthaler writes in a USA Today OpEd:

This is a highly personal story about Internet character assassination. It could be your story.

I have no idea whose sick mind conceived the false, malicious "biography" that appeared under my name for 132 days on Wikipedia, the popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are unknown and virtually untraceable.

Read Seigenthaler's entire editorial article here.

The Spyware Wars Are Over - And Spyware Has Won

Annalee Newitz writes in Wired News:

Back in 2002, Gator was one of the most reviled companies on the Net. Maker of a free app called eWallet, the firm was under fire for distributing what critics called spyware, code that covertly monitors a user's Web-surfing habits and uploads the data to a remote server. People who downloaded Gator eWallet soon found their screens inundated with pop-up ads ostensibly of interest to them because of Web sites they had visited. Removing eWallet didn't stop the torrent of pop-ups. Mounting complaints attracted the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. Online publishers sued the company for obscuring their Web sites with pop-ups. In a June 2002 legal brief filed with the lawsuit, attorneys for The Washington Post referred to Gator as a "parasite." ZDNet called it a "scourge."

Today Gator, now called Claria, is a rising star. The lawsuits have been settled - with negligible impact on the company's business - and Claria serves ads for names like JPMorgan Chase, Sony, and Yahoo! The Wall Street Journal praises the company for "making strides in revamping itself." Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Microsoft came close to acquiring Claria. Google acknowledges Claria's technology in recent patent applications. Best of all, government agencies and watchdog groups have given their blessing to the company's latest product: software that watches everything users do online and transmits their surfing histories to Claria, which uses the data to determine which ads to show them.

Read the rest of Annalee's article here.

180Solutions Sues Zone Labs

Nate Mook writes in BetaNews:

Adware software provider 180Solutions has filed suit against security company Zone Labs for what it claims are "false and misleading statements about 180's products" within the popular ZoneAlarm tool. ZoneAlarm alerts users to the existence of 180's Zango software, and says it may log keystrokes and track Web sites visited.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of King County, Washington, alleges that Zone Labs has caused "thousands of 180's customers to remove or otherwise uninstall Zango and/or 180SA. 180 has been damaged by the wrongful removal of its applications caused by ZoneLab's tortious conduct."

Sunbelt Software to acquire Kerio Personal Firewall

Via Sunbelt Software.

Sunbelt Software and Kerio Technologies Inc. today announced that the parties have signed an agreement for Sunbelt to acquire the Kerio Personal Firewall. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by the end of the month.

The Kerio Personal Firewall will be re-branded on an interim basis as the “Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall”. All existing customers of the Kerio Personal Firewall will be able to receive support through Sunbelt once the acquisition is completed.

Upon the close of the deal, Sunbelt will also announce new reduced pricing for the full version of the product and a variety of special offers for both Kerio and Sunbelt customers. Additionally, Sunbelt will continue Kerio’s tradition of providing a basic free version for home users.

EU Expects Rush for '.eu' Domain Name

An AP newswire article by Helena Spongenberg, via, reports that:

The European Union expects a surge of applications next week when its ".eu" regional domain name opens for registration.

"I expect a real rush, several hundred thousand in the first few days," EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding told reporters Thursday. "European companies should waste no time and register for the new `.eu' domain name."

Reding and other supporters believe such a domain will help promote European identity and create greater visibility for pan-European e-commerce. Currently, businesses must use domains for their particular country, such as ".fr" for France, or a global one like ".com," which is seen by some as mostly a U.S. suffix.

Registration for ".eu" names begins on Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. GMT, and such names can be used immediately.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, 1 December 2005

DSW to Improve Computer Security in U.S. Settlement

Not only did DSW "not adequately protect" consumer financial and credit information, but the head of the FTC, Deborah Platt Majoras, found herself a potential victim.

Via Reuters.

Shoe retailer DSW Inc. agreed to beef up its computer security to settle U.S. charges that it did not adequately protect customers' credit cards and checking accounts, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

DSW said this spring that identity thieves had gained access to debit card, credit card and checking account information of more than 1.4 million customers, one of a string of such security breaches announced by U.S. companies this year.

Identity thieves have generated fraudulent activity on some of those accounts, resulting in out-of-pocket charges for some customers, the FTC said.

From MySpace to Murder

Adam Hunter writes in MSNBC News:

Early one morning a few weeks ago, Kara Borden, a 14-year-old from Lititz, Pa., logged onto MySpace. The young, bubbly, blond-haired, brown-eyed homeschooled high school freshman had a profile on the popular networking site.

Her page was brightly colored with pink-lined black boxes listing her friends and hobbies, a rainbow striped white background and a picture of her in a pink top, smiling with lips closed to hide her braces. She listed her interests as soccer, talking on the phone, the beach and partying. "Books are gay," she wrote. She lied about her age, listing it as 17.

A few hours later she allegedly stood by as her boyfriend, David Ludwig, 18, shot and killed her parents.

Skype 2.0 Adds Video to Voice

Image source: The New York Times

Ken Belson writes in The New York Times:

Skype has already attracted millions of fans with its easy-to-use Internet phone service. Today it adds a new feature: video calls.

Like the first version of Skype, the upgraded software is downloaded from Users also need a Web camera that attaches to a computer; many popular models sell for less than $100.

UK: E-Tailer Unwittingly Sold Counterfeit Microsoft Software


A British website has been caught selling counterfeit Microsoft software which it obtained from what it thought to be a legitimate Chinese source. Microsoft was alerted when a customer of used Microsoft's Product Identification Service.

Microsoft’s team identified the copy as counterfeit and began investigations which led to The Middlesbrough-based e-tailer was shocked when it learned that it was selling illegal copies, according to Microsoft. It had obtained Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 from what it thought to be a legitimate Chinese source. It unwittingly sold over £7,000 worth of pirate software.

A Planet with Planets? Spitzer Finds Cosmic Oddball

This artist's conception compares a hypothetical solar system
centered around a tiny "sun" (top) to a known solar system
centered around a star, called 55 Cancri, which is about the same
size as our sun. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, in combination with
other ground-based and orbiting telescopes, discovered the
beginnings of such a miniature solar system 500
light-years away in the Chamaeleon constellation.

Image source: NASA / JPL-Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC)

Whitney Clavin (Spitzer Science Center) writes:

Planets are everywhere these days. They have been spotted around more than 150 stars, and evidence is growing that they also circle "failed," or miniature, stars called brown dwarfs. Now, astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope say they have found what may be planets-in-the-making in the strangest of places -- around a brown dwarf that itself is the size of a planet.

The little brown dwarf, called Cha 110913-773444, is one of the smallest known. At eight times the mass of Jupiter, it is even smaller than several planets around other stars.

Yet, this tiny orb might eventually host a tiny solar system. Spitzer's infrared eyes found, swirling around it, a flat disk made up of dust that is thought to gradually clump together to form planets. Spitzer has previously uncovered similar planet-forming disks around other brown dwarfs, but Cha 110913-773444 is the true dwarf of the bunch.

Phishers Exploit Open Redirect on U.S. Government Site

Via Netcraft.

A phishing attack is exploiting an open redirect on a U.S. government web site to gain credibility for bogus e-mails promising an IRS tax refund. The scam e-mail offers an IRS refund of $571 to recipients if they click on a link to, a legitimate federal web site that has recently been promoted by President Bush as a tool to streamline relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

An open redirect on the web site allows phishers to craft a URL that uses the URL but instead sends users to a web server in Italy and a phishing site seeking to steal their bank login details and Social Security number.

Network Outage Affects BT Group Firms

Jo Best writes in C|Net News:

BT Group has confirmed that broadband customers suffered outages for several hours Wednesday.

Internet service providers America Online,, Wanadoo and Zen Internet all confirmed that they had been hit by outages. BT, U.K.'s telecommunications giant, said the glitches, which affected people between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. PT, were due to a software problem linked to user authentication.

Three servers were the cause of the problem, which affected customers randomly around the United Kingdom, according to BT.

'Dr. Chaos' Goes to Prison for Hacking Wisconsin Electrical Grid

An AP newswire article, via CNN, reports that:

A man who called himself "Dr. Chaos" online was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in federal prison for hacking into computers and causing power failures in northeastern Wisconsin.

Joseph D. Konopka, 29, already is serving a 13-year federal prison sentence for pleading guilty in 2002 to chemical weapons possession for storing cyanide near a Chicago subway.

The former computer systems administrator pleaded guilty in August to 11 felonies, including conspiracy, arson, creating counterfeit software and interfering with computers in Wisconsin.

Google Stock is Windfall for Stanford University

An AP newswire article, via, reports that:

Stanford University has made $336 million on the sale of its stock holdings in Google Inc., the Internet search engine giant created by two of the university's graduate students.

Stanford received 1.8 million shares of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in exchange for allowing Google to use key Internet search technology developed by company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page while they were graduate students at the university. Stanford holds the patent on the technology, which the university licenses to Google under a multiyear deal.

SETI and Intelligent Design

Seth Shostak, of The SETI Institute, writes in

If you’re an inveterate tube-o-phile, you may remember the episode of "Cheers" in which Cliff, the postman who’s stayed by neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night from his appointed rounds of beer, exclaims to Norm that he’s found a potato that looks like Richard Nixon’s head.

This could be an astonishing attempt by taters to express their political views, but Norm is unimpressed. Finding evidence of complexity (the Nixon physiognomy) in a natural setting (the spud), and inferring some deliberate, magical mechanism behind it all, would be a leap from the doubtful to the divine, and in this case, Norm feels, unwarranted.

Cliff, however, would have some sympathizers among the proponents of Intelligent Design (ID), whose efforts to influence school science curricula continue to swill large quantities of newspaper ink. As just about everyone is aware, these folks use similar logic to infer a "designer" behind such biological constructions as DNA or the human eye. The apparent complexity of the product is offered as proof of deliberate blueprinting by an unknown creator—conscious action, presumably from outside the universe itself.

What many readers will not know is that SETI research has been offered up in support of Intelligent Design.

Read Seth's entire article here.

SPEWS Blacklist Stats Suggest Anti-Spam Progress

Brian McWilliams writes in the Spam Kings blog:

Have we turned the tide in the battle against spam? Experts fling around a lot of contradictory statistics about overall spam volumes. But here's one figure that might give cause for cautious optimism.

For four of the past five months, the number of addresses on the SPEWS anti-spam blacklist has declined. According to figures compiled by David Bolt, there are currently 27,082,798 Internet protocol (IP) addresses on the controversial list of spam sources.

That's down nearly 350,000 IPs since the start of November 2005. The SPEWS list also shed nearly 120,000 addresses in October. Image of the Day

Wow. This was just too beautiful not to mention.


The Hubble Space Telescope has caught the most detailed view
of the Crab Nebula, revealing the intricate epitaph of a long-dead star.

Image source:

RIAA Sues Woman Who Has No Computer For File-Sharing

Ray Beckerman writes over on the "Recording Industry vs. The People" Blog:

We have just learned of another case, this one in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where a defendant is fighting back against the RIAA.

The name of the case is Capitol Records v. Foster.

There the defendant has filed counterclaims for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, and for "prima facie tort" under Oklahoma law. The judge dismissed the counterclaim for "prima facie tort" but has left standing the counterclaim for a declaratory judgment.

During the period Ms. Foster was accused of being a copyright infringer she did not even have a working computer.

Ray Beckerman is an attorney for Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, in New York.

Through the Electronic Frontier Foundation their firm has undertaken an effort to represent people in our area who have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for having computers whose internet accounts were used to open up peer-to-peer file sharing accounts.

According to their "Recording Industry vs. The People" blog, they state that "We find these cases to be oppressive and unfair, as large law firms financed by the recording industry sue ordinary working people for thousands of dollars. "

Hear, hear.

These guys set up their blog in order to collect evidence and input about these oppressive lawsuits.

Adding MP3 Storage to an Xbox 360

Nick Farrell writes in The Inquirer:

CRACKERS HAVE already discovered a method of illegally adding MP3 storage capacity to Microsoft's super soaraway Xbox 360.

The Xbox as it ships does not let you load MP3s onto it, probably as part of a deal between Vole and the music biz. However according to this 'ere site, making the machine do what Vole doesn't want you to do is dead easy. All you need is a a hard drive of your choice and a USB 2.0 to ATA adaptor.

After a bit of juggling you can load content to the drive via windows. Plug it into your 360 and go to media and select portable device and it's all there.

ICANN Shrugs Off Dotcom Lawsuits

Kieren McCarthy writes in The Register:

Internet overseeing organisation ICANN has dimissed two lawsuits against it as "attempts to manipulate the public comment process" over future ownership of all dotcoms.

General Counsel for ICANN John Jeffrey told us that the "underlying motivation" of the legal threats was clear in that they stemmed from "specific sectors of the registrar market place". Such groups had brought lawsuits before and it was "not surprising" that they would do so again at this point, he said.

However, the lead lawyer for one of the groups, sat outside the main meeting room at ICANN's Vancouver conference today, told us that they were following a public service remit and were aiming to aid consumers and protect the public interest by highlighting problems with the current agreement.

BellSouth Exec Wants to Charge for Web Speed

Jonathan Krim writes in The Washington Post:

A senior telecommunications executive said yesterday that Internet service providers should be allowed to strike deals to give certain Web sites or services priority in reaching computer users, a controversial system that would significantly change how the Internet operates.

William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc.

User Friendly: SETI@Home Worm


Click for larger image.

Grateful Dead to Allow Free Web Downloads (Again)

An AP newswire article by Dan Goodin, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

What a short, strange trip it was. After the Grateful Dead angered some of its biggest fans by asking a nonprofit Web site to halt the free downloading of its concert recordings, the psychedelic jam band changed its mind Wednesday.

Internet Archive, a site that catalogues content on Web sites, reposted recordings of Grateful Dead concerts for download after the surviving members of the band decided to make them available again.

Band spokesman Dennis McNally said the group was swayed by the backlash from fans, who for decades have freely taped and traded the band's live performances.

France's Top Mobile Operators Slapped for Market Collusion

An AFP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

France's three mobile telecommunications operators faced a heavy bill after competition authorities slapped them with a record fine for five years of market collusion.

The Competition Council ordered Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom to pay a cumulative 534 million euros (630 million dollars) for what the council called "particularly serious" practices that had caused "great damage to the economy".

France Telecom's Orange unit is to pay 256 millions euros, Vivendi's SFR division 220 million, and Bouygues Telecom, the smallest of the three, 58 million, the authority said.

Intel to Build $3.5 B Plant in Israel

Tova Cohen writes for Reuters:

Intel Corp. will build a chip plant in Israel costing more than $3.5 billion, the U.S. company said on Thursday, the largest investment ever by an industrial firm in the country.

Intel's second plant in the southern town of Kiryat Gat will add to an Israeli economy already driven by high-tech and exports.

TiVo to Let Users Buy Movie Tickets, Check Traffic

Via Reuters.

TiVo Inc. on Thursday said some customers can now buy movie tickets and check local weather on their television, yet another upgrade aimed at proving its set-top box is more valuable than ones made by its cable and satellite rivals.

The services, free to those already paying a monthly fee of around $13 a month, include access to the movie ticket system Fandango, online radio via Live365, and the ability to listen to Internet-based programing, or podcasts. Users can also view traffic, weather and personal photos from Yahoo Inc.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

District of Columbia Files Suit Against Sony BMG

Via Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran.

Finkelstein Thompson & Loughran filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG yesterday for their use of Digital Rights Management software on their music CDs. This suit was filed by a resident of the District of Columbia on behalf of the general public of the District for allegedly false and deceptive trade practices.

The lawsuit against Sony BMG concerns the damages incurred by consumers and caused by Sony’s spyware-infected CDs. Sony has encoded over 24 million CDs, sold worldwide, with “spyware” programs that act as copyright protection software. These spyware programs compromise the security of a user’s computer as well as transmit data about users back to Sony through the internet, allowing the company to track users’ listening habits.

If you are a consumer who bought a CD that is included on the list below and would like to discuss this matter, please contact Karen Marcus at Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran’s Washington , DC office at (202) 337-8000 , by email at, or by completing the case inquiry form [on their website here].

High-Tech 'Repo Man' Keeps Car Payments Coming

Go Figure -- Miltary Bases as a "first test" site. :-)

A Virginian-Pilot article by Joanne Kimberlin, via USA Today, reports that:

NOTE TO REPO MAN: Might want to look into another line of work.

A new gizmo is upping the odds that even the most hard-knock customer will come up with the car payment. Hooked into the ignition system, the gadget comes in a handful of versions with one common conclusion:

No pay, no start.

It's worked wonders at Norfolk's Patriot Auto Sales, where nearly every car that drives off the lot is outfitted with a PayTeck Smart Box, a system that hands over a five-digit code in exchange for each payment. Come due date, the car won't crank until the customer punches the code into a palm-size keypad wired into the dash.

Another Shocker: Consumers Like "Ad-Free," But Won't Pay For It

Gee, I think some of us have been saying this for, what? Ten years now?

I guess some people are just slower to figure things out than the rest of us...

Via Reuters.

Consumers adore radio and television shows presented "commercial free!" -- as long as they do not have to pay for that privilege, advertising industry veteran Chuck Porter said on Wednesday.

"In our experience, people won't pay a lot to avoid ads," said Porter, chairman of advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, said at the Reuters Media and Advertising Summit.

Extensive market research conducted by his firm suggested that consumers would pay a premium for subscription-based products that do not have commercials.


Blogging for EFF Austin

Well, it may not sound like much to some of you, but it's a big deal for me.

Jon Lebkowsky, who co-founded EFF-Austin back in 1991, dropped me a line this morning asking me if I'd like to post items/snippets/newsworthy items to the Austin-EFF News website occassionally, and I happily took him up on it.

Now, it's not exactly like I'm going to go crazy on this opportunity (and not like I don't have a fulltime job of my own, as well as a blog), but Jon's a busy guy, and I'm certainly happy to post items to the site which are of interest to freedom- and liberty-loving affectionados (as well as other techno geeks) here in Austin, as well as around the world.

As some of you may, or may not know, EFF-Austin was originally formed in 1991 with the intention that it would become the first chapter of the national Electronic Frontier Foundation, however EFF decided not to become a chapters organization, and EFF-Austin became a separately-incorporated, independent nonprofit organization working focusing on cyber liberties, digital rights, and emerging technologies. EFF-Austin became dormant in 1997, and was revived by original co-founders Steve Jackson and Jon Lebkowsky in 2002.

So, thanks Jon.

And stay tuned.

Well, It Looks Like 'Cyber Monday' Is For Real

An AP newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that:

Free shipping and enticing discounts appeared to have paid off for online merchants, who enjoyed a robust Monday, the official start of the holiday shopping season for electronic retailers.

According to comScore Networks, non-travel spending rose 26 percent to $485 million on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Marketers have dubbed the day Cyber Monday as droves of consumers return to the office and use their high-speed Internet connections to click and shop.

The Internet Archive Open for Hurricane Sites

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

The Internet Archive is preserving more than 25 million Web pages relating to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from some 1,500 news, online journals and other sites.

The pages, recorded Sept. 4 to Oct. 17, include the Web site of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, which was only able to publish digital editions for several days after Katrina forced the evacuation of its staff. All of the paper's digital editions are available, including those published before the Archive started making copies of the site.

Microsoft Develops Classifieds Service

An AP newswire article by Allison Linn, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Microsoft Corp. is developing an online classified service to compete with the likes of Craigslist and becoming the latest company to capitalize on growing consumer interest in buying and selling everything from cars to baby-sitting services on the Web.

Such Web-based classifieds are proving to be tough competitors for the ads that traditionally provided a big chunk of newspaper revenue.

Microsoft is hoping to distinguish its service, code-named Fremont, from rivals by tying in functionality with other Microsoft products. For example, people will be able to have Microsoft's instant messaging service alert them if items they seek come up for sale, or if someone is interested in buying something they are selling.

San Jose Airport Becomes 2nd to Offer Express Screening

An AP newswire article by May Wong, via ABC News, reports that:

The international airport of Silicon Valley will soon become the nation's second airfield to offer a high-tech express lane for security checks.

The so-called "Registered Traveler" program offers airline passengers a prepaid, preapproved security pass complete with fingerprint and eye scans.

Enrolled passengers who pay a fee and get a background check and can bypass the airport's general security checkpoint, heading instead for a more exclusive security lane.

The program debuted at the Orlando International Airport in Florida, where more than 10,000 members pay a $79.95 annual fee. San Jose passengers will likely be charged a similar fee, said Rich Dressler, a spokesman for the San Jose airport.

Austin: Silicon Labs Moving Downtown

Shonda Novak writes in The Austin American-Statesman:

Silicon Laboratories Inc., one of Austin's most successful home-grown tech companies, is moving its headquarters downtown, the first major employer to move downtown in more than four years.

The computer chip company plans to move an as-yet undetermined number of its 500 local employees into 400 W. Cesar Chavez St. The six-story structure is owned by Computer Sciences Corp., whose Austin operations are housed in a twin building two blocks east.

Some Samsung Execs May Face Prosecution

An AP newswire article by Matthew Fordahl, via, reports that:

Though Samsung has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a scheme to fix the price of computer memory chips, several executives — including the president of its U.S. semiconductor business — could still face prosecution.

Under the agreement struck in October between the Korea company and the U.S. Justice Department, seven people are excluded from any protection offered by the deal that also requires the world's largest maker of computer memory chips to pay a near-record $300 million fine.

SysInternals: Premature Sony DRM Rootkit Victory Declaration?

Mark Russinovich writes in the SysInternals Blog:

Two weeks ago I declared victory in what the media is now referring to as the “Sony rootkit debacle”, but now I’m wondering if I jumped the gun. It turns out that the CDs containing the XCP rootkit technology are still widely available, there’s still no sign of an uninstaller, and comments made recently by the president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) make it clear that the music industry is still missing the point.

I declared my victory a few hours after Sony announced that it would withdraw the somewhere between 2 and 5 million (the number varies depending on the source) infected CDs that are on store shelves. However, even close to two weeks later it’s obvious that Sony has done little to advertise to store owners, even larger chains, that a recall is in place. They were present in stores in the Austin, Philadelphia and Chicago areas And as of last week Eliot Spitzer, the Attorney General of New York State, reports that his investigators found them in the New York City area. Many store clerks were unaware that a withdrawal had even been ordered.

Read more here.

UT Scientists May Have Discovered New Treatment For Anthrax

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have engineered a new anthrax antitoxin that one day might be used to protect people from the deadly disease without the use of antibiotics.

The new antitoxin treatment, developed in collaboration with the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, was reported in the December issue of the academic journal, Infection and Immunity. Experiences Denial of Service Outage

Dawn Kawamoto writes in C|Net News: was hit with a denial-of-service attack Wednesday morning, prompting 600,000 of its customers' hosted Web sites to go dark for roughly an hour. GoDaddy, which also is a domain registrar and reseller, said e-mail service was also disrupted for some of its 4 million customers.

The DoS attack hit at 5:49 a.m. and lasted approximately 65 minutes, said Bob Parsons, GoDaddy's chief executive. GoDaddy is hit with DoS attempts every day, but the attack on Wednesday was three times larger than previous attempts, Parsons said.

$2B Army IT Integration Contract Split Among Three Firms

Roseanne Gerin writes in

The Army has awarded a contract worth more than $2.3 billion to three systems integrator companies to provide omnibus IT services to the Army and other federal agencies.

NCI Information Systems Inc., Signal Solutions Inc. and STG Inc. won the Total Engineering and Integration Services II (TEIS 2) contract, a five-year deal that consolidates several IT services contracts.

iBuzz: A Different Kind of Pleasure From Your MP3 Player

Via C|Net News.

Image source: C|Net / Splash News

The new iBuzz is advertised as a sex toy that attaches to your iPod or MP3 player and vibrates to the beat of your music. It's made in the U.K. and only available in Europe.

Turner Networks Becomes First to Air Content Originating on Holographic Storage

Now this is cool.


InPhase Technologies announced that Turner Network Television became the first television network to air content originating on holographic storage.

On Friday, October 21, 2005 engineers from InPhase Technologies and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. ingested a promotional advertisement into InPhase’s Tapestry holographic disk as a data file. The ad was recorded by InPhase’s holographic prototype drive onto the holographic disk, which was manufactured by Hitachi Maxell, an InPhase partner and investor. The file was then electronically migrated to a server and played back to air at the scheduled time. This promotional ad will remain active in the system and will be aired whenever called for by the program schedule of TNT.

Clear Channel Eyes Internet Distribution Deals

A Reuters newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Clear Channel Communications Inc. could possibly ink distribution deals with Yahoo Inc. or Apple's iTunes music service by next year, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

The U.S. radio conglomerate, which is seeking as many distribution outlets as possible for its programs, has been in talks with Apple Computer Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. over the past year, according to John Hogan, chief executive of Clear Channel's radio division.

Surprise! DoD 'Scaling Back' Expectations for Migration to IPv6

I wander when they'll realize that there is no compelling reason to migrate to v6?

William Jackson writes in

The Defense Department is scaling back expectations for its 2008 move to version 6 of the Internet Protocols.

“I don’t think we’re going to make that transition date,” said Kris Strance, a senior analyst in the Defense CIO office.

The original fiscal 2008 deadline was for a full DOD transition to IPv6. Strance said during a security conference Tuesday hosted by the eGov Institute that the department would first move its network backbones to the new protocols.

Fruit Bats May Harbor Deadly Ebola Virus

Debora MacKenzie writes in NewScientist:

Scientists may have tracked down the natural reservoir of the deadly disease Ebola. When not in action it may be biding its time in fruit bats.

The virus causes sporadic, lethal outbreaks in people and apes in Africa, but no one knew where the Ebola virus spends the rest of its time. Now Eric Leroy at the International Centre for Medical Research in Franceville, Gabon, and colleagues think they have tracked it down to three species of fruit bat.

Previous campaigns to test animals, including bats, in outbreak zones have failed to find the virus. This time the effort succeeded, says Leroy, because the team sampled bats near where carcasses of apes killed by Ebola were found, within days of their deaths. Overall, they trapped and tested over 1000 small animals in the outbreak zones.

FTC Stops Web Broker Business Scheme

Roy Mark writes on

Two Internet-based companies offering Web brokerage services are the latest to be nabbed in a federal crackdown on illegal business opportunities and work-at-home schemes.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday said Wealth Systems, Inc., Ecommerce, LLC, and their principals, Martin Wilson and Shane Roach, will pay approximately $80,000 in consumer redress.

A judgment of almost $15 million, representing the amount of consumer injury, will be suspended due to the defendants' inability to pay. The judgment will be imposed if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

H5N1 News: Woman Dies from Bird Flu in Indonesia

A Reuters newswire article, via CNN, reports that:

A dead Indonesian woman has tested positive for bird flu but there was no evidence two brothers were victims of the avian influenza virus, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization expressed concern over the case of the two brothers who died this month just days before their 16-year-old sibling was admitted to hospital infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus.

The WHO said it could not rule out human-to-human transmission but was hampered by a lack of evidence.

Judge Rules Against BlackBerry Settlement

An AP newswire article by Stephanie Stoughton, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a $450 million settlement between a small patent holding firm and the maker of BlackBerry e-mail devices, Research in Motion Ltd., is not valid.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is a victory for NTP Inc., an Arlington company that has argued the technology behind the popular BlackBerry infringes on its patents.

Canada's RIM had sought to uphold an agreement reached earlier this year, though NTP said it was never finalized.