Internet and Society News -- 050127

"Standing for Freedom and Liberty, or 'Friberty'"



Antitrust watchdog questions Microsoft on XP SP2

Microsoft Corp's latest operating system, Windows XP Service Pack 2, is coming
under scrutiny from antitrust officials, who say they're not sure if it keeps to
the firm's competition obligations.

SBC cuts DSL price with bundled service

The company's fastest DSL service now has a lower price tag--but must be bundled
with a calling plan.

SBC, AT&T in Acquisition Discussions

Regional phone giant SBC Communications Inc. is in talks to buy the venerable
long-distance provider AT&T Corp., a move that would create the nation's largest
telecommunications company.



IBM: The host with the most?

Big Blue initiative aims to breath new life into the notion of software as a

Novell's Linux strategy worries some customers

Ambitious plan leads some customers to worry that the networking company may
withdraw support for some of its legacy applications.

Amazon Launches Local
Yellow Pages with Photos, Reviews

In a move to compete in the growing market for local search services,
today launched " Yellow Pages," a new local business search directory
complete with photos. Analysts said if the concept takes off, it could expand
the world of e-commerce. Amazon's "Block View" technology aims to bring Yellow
Pages to life by showing a street view of millions of businesses and their
surroundings. Block View allows users to see storefronts and virtually walk up
and down the streets of currently more than 10 U.S. cities using over 20 million

IPods Act as D.J.'s at Clubs Where Patrons Call the Tunes

Whose iPod is this?" yelled the manager. "Is this the Pogues?" Bar managers do
not typically ask their clientele about the songs pumping out of the bar's music
system. They tend to have intimate knowledge of the jukebox, or leave music
questions to the D.J. But that is changing in some bars, where customers who
bring their own iPods have started to take control of the tunes.



Fake commercials spread quickly online

Viral marketing, in which ads spread online as people share them, has become an
intriguing strategy for companies.

Judges protect right to boot suspected spammer

Appeals court says EarthLink can't be held liable for disconnecting a customer
it believed was spamming--even though he wasn't.



war on tort

President George Bush has placed tort reform at the centre of his second-term
legislative programme. Ranged against him are the massed ranks of America's
trial lawyers. Who will come out on top?



court protects P2P ne'er-do-well

ISPs are not obliged to reveal the identity of internet users who offer
downloads of music files on the web, a Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt ruled
this week. The Court overturned a lower court order to reveal personal
information about an ISP customer who operated an illegal music server from his

Eyes on the Prize Hits P2P

An activist group encourages people to download digitized copies of the landmark
civil rights documentary, which is currently hamstrung by licensing fees. The
effort could draw attention to problems in copyright law, but the production
company is not pleased.

Library allowed to
crack copy protection

The German national library (Deutsche Bibliothek) has negiotated a license with
rightholders to legally circumvent copy protection mechanisms on CD-roms,
videos, software and E-books. It seems this is the first library in Europe to
have managed a voluntary agreement on the strict new anti-circumvention rules
prescribed by the EU copyright directive of 2001 (2001/29/EC). Article 6 of the
EUCD prohibits acts of circumvention, as well as the distribution of tools and
technologies used for circumvention of access control or copy protection



eXeem Lite
promises spyware-free P2P

Developers this week released a spy-ware free version of popular P2P app eXeem.
The official version of eXeem, which entered into public beta this week, is
contaminated with an adware app called Cydoor. eXeem Lite 0.19 is smaller -
1.9MB compared to 2.5MB - and promises file trading without search hijacking and
pop-up ad bombardment. Unlike eXeem, eXeem Lite is also available to Linux users
(who need to run the app using WINE).

FTC Signs
Memorandum of Understanding with Mexican Consumer Protection Body

The Federal Trade Commission and Mexico's consumer protection agency, the
Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Profeco), today signed a bilateral
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote enhanced cooperation in the fight
against cross-border fraud.



Bush Touts Computerized Medical Records

President Bush said Thursday that the medical industry is behind the times,
using paper and pen for many records and prescriptions when computerized records
could reduce cost and errors. "Most industries in America have used information
technology to make their businesses more cost effective, more efficient and more
productive. And the truth of the matter is, health care hasn't," Bush said
during a forum at the Cleveland Clinic. "We've got fantastic new pharmaceuticals
that help save lives, but we've got docs still writing records by hand."



It's Not All in Your Head

Virtual reality is helping treat post-traumatic stress disorders stemming from
the Iraq war, but developers want to go beyond sights and sounds, to touch and

Add new comment