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Google's Silent Monopoly 425

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Isaac Garcia from Central Desktop Blog writes, 'How much does Google pay *itself* to claim the top ad position for searches relevant to its own products? Google holds the top advertisement (Adword) slot for the following key words: intranet, spreadsheet, documents, calendar, word processor, email, video, instant messenger, blog, photo sharing, online groups, maps, start page, restaurants, dining, and books... ...if you are trying to advertise a product that is competitive to Google, then you'll never be able to receive the Top Ad Position, no matter how much money you bid and spend. How different is it than MSFT placing its products (Internet Explorer) in a premium marketing position (embedded in the OS)?'"

Information Technology and Voting 128

Posted by kdawson
from the matter-of-trust dept.
ChelleChelle writes, "In an interview in ACM Queue, Douglas W. Jones and Peter G. Neumann attempt to answer the question: Does technology help or hinder election integrity?" From the article: "Work in this area is as politically loaded as work on evolution or stem cells. Merely claiming that research into election integrity is needed is seen by many politicians as challenging the legitimacy of their elections... One of the problems in public discussions of voting-system integrity is that the different participants tend to point to different threats. Election-system vendors and election officials generally focus on effective defense against outside attackers, usually characterized as hackers. Meanwhile, many public interest groups have focused on the possibility of election officials corrupting the results."

IBM Touts Smart Surveillance System 37

Posted by Zonk
from the big-blue-watching-you dept.
mikesd81 writes "Reuters reports that IBM hopes to capitalize on the enormous growth in video surveillance. They'll begin selling technology from their research labs that performs real-time analysis on footage captured by security cameras in stores and sensitive locales. IBM contends that it is the first to add advanced search functions, which make use of computers' improving ability to recognize video content. For example, the IBM system would let a user search for all instances of a green car passing by a store on a certain day. It can also incorporate data gathered from audio or chemical sensors. And IBM said S3 includes important privacy enhancements, such as the ability to automatically obscure faces of customers or passers-by. IBM said that S3's target market includes retail outlets, banks, airports, freight terminals and mass transit systems. It is also being sold to public security agencies and other government departments." C|Net reports that the software is so impressive, it may be monitoring border crossings before too long.

The 13 Enemies of the Internet 203

Posted by Zonk
from the we-get-to-pick dept.
Hennell writes "Reporters without borders has just released its annual list of internet enemies, a list of countries 'that systematically violate online free expression.' A couple of countries have been removed, but Egypt has been added. A detailed summary can be read on the BBC Website." From that article: "The blacklist is published annually but it is the first time RSF has organized an online protest to accompany the list. 'We wanted to mobilize net users so that when we lobby certain countries we can say that the concerns are not just ours but those of thousands of internet users around the world,' said a spokesman for RSF. Many of those on the internet blacklist are countries that are regularly criticized by human rights groups, such as China and Burma."

NTP Sues Palm, Alleging Patent Violation 121

Posted by Zonk
from the thrilling dept.
mikesd81 writes "The Seattle Time reports that NTP is now going after Palm for patent infringement on technology used in their devices. The suit asks the court to bar Palm from continuing to infringe on NTP's patents and seeks monetary damages for the alleged past infringements. At issues are eleven patents, dating from 1995 to 2001, according to the lawsuit. Five of the patents were part of NTP's lawsuit against RIM. The Palm complaint also centers on products, services and systems that integrate e-mail systems with wireless communications, including the Treo, Palm VII, Palm i700 and Tungsten products." You may recall NTP from the just-finished Blackberry case. Good to know they're staying busy.

Stem Cell Research Bill Clears Australian Senate 234

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sudden-iq-migration-down-under dept.
jaunty writes "A private members bill has passed the Australian senate which paves the way for the cloning of embryos to gather stem cells. While it only passed by a narrow margin it is expected to gain support in the House. From the article: 'The final shape of the bill is now subject to further debate on amendments including measures to toughen penalties for breaches of cloning regulations, and possibly a move to stop the use of animal tissue in the cloning process.'"

Enron's Kenneth Lay Dies 868

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-sarbox dept.
Don420 writes "This morning the biggest corporate criminal in modern history, Kenneth Lay, died of a massive coronary before he could receive his sentence. Lay was found guilty of being in charge of the scheme that had many lose their live-savings through a scheme of complex offshore holdings and is to thank for our having to live with Sarbanes-Oxely." From the article: "Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 after investigators found it had used partnerships to conceal more than $1 billion in debt and inflate profits. Enron's downfall cost 4,000 employees their jobs and many of them their life savings, and led to billions of dollars of losses for investors."

Microsoft Calls for Truce With GPL and Linux? 464

Posted by Zonk
from the dogs-and-cats-you-know-the-drill dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention an eWeek article discussing Microsoft's efforts to reach out to the open source community. The company is hoping to find a common ground with softare released under the GPL, so that OSS and Microsoft products can interoperate. From the article: "The goal, from both sides, is to meet customer needs, he said, adding, 'This is just the more mature view of the way the world is evolving, and we want to make sure that if customers are choosing Linux or other open-source-based products that we have ways of interoperating and working effectively with that.'" A related article mentions Windows server Expert Jeremy Moskowitzs' call for a truce between the Linux and Windows communities.

Yahoo! Allegedly Helps Beijing Arrest a Third Reporter 219

Posted by Zonk
from the not-looking-good-man dept.
reporter writes "According to a damning press release from Reporters without Borders, Yahoo has helped Beijing to locate, arrest, and imprison a 3rd reporter. This latest incident occurs about 2 months after Yahoo testified, under oath in front of Congress, that the company regrets being 'forced' to help Beijing." From the article: "'We hope this Internet giant will not, as it has each time it has been challenged previously, hide behind its local partner, Alibaba, to justify its behaviour. Whatever contract it has with this partner, the email service is marketed as Yahoo !' the organisation said. According to the verdict, Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) confirmed that the email account ZYMZd2002 had been used jointly by Jiang Lijun and another pro-democracy activist, Li Yibing."

Microsoft Launches Linux Labs Website 275

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-the-message-out dept.
mjdroner writes "ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft is launching a website to 'share the activities of its internal Linux laboratories.' Microsoft says its goal is to foster communication with those who use open-source. The article also mentions that Microsoft runs a 300-server Linux installation to test open-source products." From the article: "Customers will be able to submit requests to Microsoft employees. For example, a person could ask how to best test the use of Linux desktops working with Microsoft's directory software. In addition, Port 25 will do video interviews with Microsoft employees with experience in the open-source or Unix world, Hilf said."

Microsoft Providing Virtual Server Free 401

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the right-price dept.
liliafan writes "In an effort to gain a market majority over VMware Microsoft announced it is giving Virtual Server away for free, additionally they will provide customer support for Linux. In a related move VMware have opened their partition file format to the community, aggressive and suprising moves in the virtualisation market."

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