rfunches writes: "The Wall Street Journal reports that EU antitrust regulators are turning up the heat on the Blu-ray and HD-DVD format consortiums as the European Commission demanded evidence of Hollywood studios' "communications and agreements on the new generation of DVD formats." From the article:
The European Commission, the European Union's executive body, appears to be particularly interested in the activities of the Blu-ray group because of its dominance in Hollywood, according to people familiar with the situation. The commission is investigating whether improper tactics were used to suppress competition and persuade the studios to back their format.
The article points out that all of the major Hollywood studios except Universal are backing Blu-ray; Universal is backing HD-DVD. It also notes that while one industry watcher believes the first format to have an installed base of two million homes will come out on top, there were millions of Betamax units already sold when VHS won out in the format wars of the 80's."
rfunches writes: "The New York Times (via Reuters) reports that Vonage's request for a retrial of the patent infringement case brought against the company by Verizon has been denied by a federal appeals court. Vonage had hoped to have the lower court's ruling overturned because of a Supreme Court ruling on Monday. From the article:
"The appeals court said Vonage could cite the new Supreme Court ruling as part of its pending appeal.
Vonage had argued that the March 8 infringement verdict in favor of Verizon should be reconsidered after the Supreme Court loosened a crucial legal standard, making it easier to invalidate some patents on the grounds they are obvious inventions."
rfunches writes: "Microsoft announced today how a pirated version of Vista will be crippled. From the article (may require registration/subscription):
If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager. [...] Under that scenario, a person could use the browser to surf the Web, access documents on the hard drive or log onto Web-based email. But the user would not be able to directly open documents from the computer desktop or run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software.
Supposedly Vista won't be completely disabled, but at the same time critical security updates will still be downloaded. The question is, how much will it hurt those with false positives?"
rfunches writes: The Associated Press and the New York Times are now reporting that Atlantis will not launch Sunday. The delay will "give engineers more time to determine whether one of the most powerful lightning strikes ever at a Kennedy Space Center launch pad caused any problems. The lightning Friday didn't hit the shuttle — it struck a wire attached to a tower used to protect the spacecraft from such strikes at the launch pad — but it created a lightning field around the vehicle, NASA managers said. The launch, planned for Sunday, now won't happen until at least Monday."