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Submission + - Microsoft shrinks for the first time in 34 years (

ykardia writes: The Financial Times reports that Microsoft's revenues fell for the first time in its 34-year history in the opening months of this year, bringing an end to one of the most dramatic uninterrupted growth stories in modern business. Apparently, the biggest decline came in their PC operating systems business, where revenue fell by 16 per cent. Is Microsoft just another victim of the financial crisis, or are there bigger forces at work here?

Submission + - Companies attack EU music copyright (

An anonymous reader writes: The Financial Times writes that some of Europe's biggest media and telecoms groups have attacked the European Commission's policy on music copyrights, warning that their businesses and the continent's "cultural diversity" will suffer if Brussels refuses to change track.

The European Commission had expressed concern in 2004 that "the cross-licensing arrangements that the collecting societies have between themselves lead to an effective lock up of national territories, transposing into the Internet the national monopolies the societies have traditionally held in the offline world. The Commission believes that there should be competition between collecting societies to the benefit of companies that offer music on the Internet and to consumers that listen to it".

Full EC press release from 2004 here and even more details here (pdf).

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.