Internet and Society News -- 051021

"Special Background Noise Issue"



SBC, Verizon near antitrust OK for deals-sources

SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon
Communications have tentatively agreed to make
a key concession needed to win U.S. antitrust approval to acquire the two
largest U.S. long-distance carriers, two sources close to the matter said on
Friday. SBC, which is buying AT&T Corp., and
Verizon, which is purchasing MCI Inc., are
still working out the final details of the agreements with Justice Department
staff, the sources said. An announcement could come as early as next week from
the Justice Department, one source said. The Federal Communications Commission
must also approve the transactions and could vote on them at a meeting scheduled
for late next week.

Microsoft Recants Exclusive Music Deals

Microsoft said it recanted its demands that manufacturers of iPod-like portable
audio devices not distribute rivals' music player software after lawyers
reviewed the contracts and after an unspecified industry rival complained.

Office Renovation

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky talks about developing to the new Office 12 release,
which is due next year.

Administrative Law Judge
Orders Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation to Sell Highland Park

In Initial Decision, Rules That ENH’s 2000 Acquisition of Highland Park.
"Substantially Lessened Competition" in the Market for Acute Care Inpatient
Services Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation (ENH), located in
Evanston, Illinois, must sell Highland Park Hospital (Highland Park) within 180
days, under the terms of an initial decision and order issued by Chief
Administrative Law Judge Stephen J. McGuire on October 17, 2005, and announced
by the Federal Trade Commission today.

FTC and DOJ to Host
Workshop on Competition Policy and the Real Estate Industry

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust
Division will host a one-day joint workshop entitled “Competition Policy and the
Real Estate Industry” on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 in Washington, DC.



It's 100M downloads and counting for Firefox

Just before its first anniversary, the Firefox Web browser from Mozilla has
surpassed 100 million downloads.

Pumping Indies on MTV

Pump Audio is a record company with a difference: It sneaks unknown musicians
onto prime-time TV by offering tons of pre-licensed music. Copyright headaches
are a punk band's gain.

SBC sees little threat from Skype, Net calling

CFO says most customers prefer reliability, convenience of buying voice, video
and data services from one provider.

Journey to a Thousand Maps Begins With an Open Code

Why use Google Maps for just directions when you can use it to pinpoint kosher
restaurants in Cincinnati, traffic cameras in Dublin, or find coffee shops in
Seattle that provide free wireless access?

Warner Bros. Backs Blu-Ray DVD Format

Warner Bros. has become the second studio to support both high definition DVD
formats, a move that could shift the advantage to the Blu-ray format backed by a
group led by Sony Corp. Warner Bros. Entertainment said Thursday it would join
the board of the Blu-ray Disc Association and will release its films on both the
Blu-ray and the rival HD DVD format, which is backed by a group led by Toshiba



More ID for Online Banking?

Several layers of security -- or "multi-factor authentication" -- would help
fight identity fraud, according to federal regulators.



Former Intermix CEO Settles Spyware Case

The former chief executive officer of online marketing firm Intermix has agreed
to give up profits allegedly made through the distribution of spyware as part of
a settlement with the state of New York. New York state Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer said Brad Greenspan, the founder and former CEO of Intermix Media, will
pay US$750,000 in penalties and returned profits. In exchange, Spitzer's office
plans to end its investigation.



After the Home Run, a White House Balk? Handling of Miers Nomination Cannot
Stand Up to Ease of Roberts Approval

Two months after engineering a nearly flawless confirmation process for Chief
Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Bush administration's bid to add Harriet Miers
to the Supreme Court has been so riddled with errors, stumbles and embarrassing
revelations that some lawmakers and other observers find it hard to believe it
emanates from the same White House. At one key juncture after another, Miers has
faltered where Roberts glided. Her courtesy calls on the Judiciary Committee's
top two senators prompted conflicting tales of curious comments that she may or
may not have made. Her answers to the committee's questionnaire included a
misinterpretation of constitutional law and were deemed so inadequate that the
panel asked her to redo it. She revealed one day that her D.C. law license had
been temporarily suspended -- and said the next day that the same thing had
happened in Texas -- because of unpaid dues.

["To the C Students, I say, you, too, can be President of the United States..."
or an associate justice on the Supreme Court.]

Aide Says FEMA Ignored Warnings Testimony Covers Communication as Levees

For 16 critical hours, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, including
former director Michael D. Brown, dismissed urgent eyewitness accounts by FEMA's
only staffer in New Orleans that Hurricane Katrina had broken the city's levee
system the morning of Aug. 29 and was causing catastrophic flooding, the staffer
told the Senate yesterday.



5th annual ‘Junkyard Match’ held by Butte Sheriff’s Office

On October 8th, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office hosted its fifth annual
“Junkyard Match” shooting competition. Participants from sixteen Idaho County
Sheriff’s offices were invited to compete for several prizes, including five
firearms. The top five shooters were: #1 Chris Van Etten, #2 Chris McDowell, #3
Eric Neild, #4 Dustin Summers, and #5 Tom Call.

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