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The Internet

Time Warner Cable Won't Compete, Seeks Legislation 621

narramissic writes "The good people of Wilson, NC pay $99/month for 10/10 Mbps internet service, 81 TV channels and telephone service. How'd they manage that, you ask? Well, the city-owned and operated cable service called Greenlight came into being when the City of Wilson approached TWC and local DSL provider Embarq and requested faster service for the area. 'TWC refused the request. And so Greenlight was born,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'Now Time Warner Cable and Embarq are upset that they've got competition, and rather than try to go head to head with Greenlight on price and service, they've instead been lobbying the state government of NC to pass laws to put Greenlight out of business. Apparently they're having some success, as the NC State Senate has proposed bills that would do TWC's bidding.'"
The Courts

Judge In Pirate Bay Trial Biased 415

maglo writes "The judge who handed down the harsh sentence to the four accused in the The Pirate Bay trial was biased, writes Sveriges Radio (Sweden Public Radio): sr.se (swedish). Google translation. The judge is member of two copyright lobby organizations, something he shares with several of the prosecutor attorneys (Monique Wadsted, Henrik Pontén and Peter Danowsky). The organizations in question are Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt (SFU) and Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd (SFIR)."
United States

New Bill Would Repeal NIH Open Access Policy 223

pigah writes "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act has been reintroduced into Congress. The bill will ban open access policies in federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These policies require scientists to provide public access to their work if it has been funded with money from an agency with an open access policy. Such policies ensure that the public has access to read the results of research that it has funded. It appears that Representative John Conyers (D-MI), the author of the bill, is doing the bidding of publishing companies who do not want to lose control of this valuable information that they sell for exorbitant fees thereby restricting access by the general public to an essentially public good."
Security

Fannie Mae Worker Indicted For Malicious Script 325

dfdashh writes "A former Fannie Mae contractor has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Baltimore, MD for computer intrusion. He attempted to propagate a malicious script throughout the company's 4,000 servers. The DC Examiner has details of the incident: 'Had this malicious script executed, [Fannie Mae] engineers expect it would have caused millions of dollars of damage and reduced if not shutdown operations at [Fannie Mae] for at least one week. ... The virus was set to execute at 9 a.m. Jan. 31, first disabling Fannie Mae's computer monitoring system and then cutting all access to the company's 4,000 servers, Nye wrote. Anyone trying to log in would receive a message saying "Server Graveyard." From there, the virus would wipe out all Fannie Mae data, replacing it with zeros, Nye wrote. Finally, the virus would shut down the servers.'"
Portables

OLPC Downsizes Half of Its Staff, Cuts Sugar 379

One Laptop Per Chewbacca writes "Nicholas Negroponte, the leader of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, has announced that the organization will be laying off half of its staff, cutting salaries of the remaining employees, and ending its involvement in Sugar development. The organization has had serious problems with production and deployment and has been fragmented by ideological debates as Negroponte shifts the agenda away from software freedom and towards Windows. Ars Technica concludes: 'The OLPC project's extreme dependence on economy of scale has proven to be a fatal error. The organization was not able to secure the large bulk orders that it had originally anticipated and fell short of meeting its target $100 per unit price. The worldwide economic slowdown has made it even more difficult for OLPC to find developing countries that have cash to spare on education technology.'"
Education

Windows Cheap Enough For $2B Aussie Laptop Deal 234

An anonymous reader writes "Windows-based netbooks aren't too expensive to be ruled out of the Aussie government's billion dollar promise to give a laptop to every school-aged child, according to several education departments. The admission follows an earlier report that open source machines based on Ubuntu or Mandriva are the only option to deliver up to four million computers to students for under $2 billion. Microsoft itself claimed it will keep costs per unit down by hosting a lot of the educational software in the cloud rather than on the netbook devices."
Google

Google Was 3 Hours Away From DOJ Antitrust Charges 221

turnkeylinux writes "Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. called off their joint advertising agreement just three hours before the Department of Justice planned to file antitrust charges to block the pact, according to the lawyer who would have been lead counsel for the government. 'We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day,' says Litvack, who rejoins Hogan & Hartson today. 'We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement.'"
Mozilla

IRS Looking at Google/Mozilla Relationship 261

ric482 writes "With the release of the Mozilla Foundation's 2007 financial report, questions have been raised by the IRS, who are due to perform an audit on the non-profit organization behind the massively popular Firefox browser. Last year, the Foundation received $66 million of its total $75 million revenue (88 percent) from search engine maestros Google, so the IRS are looking for blood over the organization's tax exempt status. Back in 2006, Mozilla got $59.5 million from Google — around 85 percent of the organization's revenue. Google and Mozilla are part of a 'you scratch my back, I'll pay your bills' sort of agreement, with the Google search bar firmly placed in the toolbar, and on the default homepage. Things were a bit rocky a couple of months back when Google unveiled the Beta-run of its Chrome browser, but Mozilla and Google hugged it out and sealed a deal that will last for another three years. That deal will expire in November 2011."
Education

Colombia Signs Up For OLPC Laptops With Windows 154

Reader Cowards Anonymous writes with this excerpt from Good Gear Guide: "Colombia will become the second country to use the One Laptop Per Child Project's (OLPC) XO laptops running Microsoft Windows XP in schools after signing an agreement for pilot programs in two towns. Schools in the towns of Quetame and Chia will be outfitted with the small green XO laptops developed by the OLPC. The pilot programs are expected to expand over time."
Patents

Ogg Vorbis / Theora Language Removed From HTML5 Spec 395

Rudd-O writes "It's official. Ogg technology has been removed from the HTML5 spec, after Ian caved in the face of pressure from Apple and Nokia. Unless massive pressure is exerted on the HTML5 spec editing process, the Web authoring world will continue to endure our modern proprietary Tower of Babel. Note that HTML5 in no way required Ogg (as denoted by the word 'should' instead of 'must' in the earlier draft). Adding this to the fact that there are widely available patent-free implementations of Ogg technology, there is really no excuse for Apple and Nokia to say that they couldn't in good faith implement HTML5 as previously formulated."
Communications

Corporations Face Problems with Employee Emails 160

TwistedOne151 writes "Law.com has an article outlining how the casual attitude of many employees toward work e-mails has resulted in some thorny problems for corporate in-house counsel. 'It has now become routine even in civil investigations for computers to be subpoenaed so lawyers can look at e-mails and hard drives. And one thing always leads to another. "We have forensic software that shows multiple levels of deletions. It shows thought processes. We can learn far more than from just a document alone," said [Scott] Sorrels. "E-mails have taken over the world."'"
The Media

Congress Creates Copyright Cops 533

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not satisfied with pitiful potential penalties of $150,000 for infringing upon a $0.99 song, Congress is proposing new copyright cops in the "'PRO IP' Act of 2007, specifically the creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER). They also feel that the authorities need the authority to seize any computers used for infringement and to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws. MPAA boss Dan Glickman praised the bill saying that, 'films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year,' though Ars points out that it allegedly costs the studios only $6 billion."
Media

FCC Chairman Tries For More Media Consolidation 182

An anonymous reader writes "FCC chairman Kevin Martin wants to relax rules on how many media outlets one company can own in one market. Democratic commissioner Copps wants to rally the public to stop media consolidation. He says he's 'blowing a loud trumpet' for a 'call to battle' to stop the FCC from giving big media a generous Christmas present."
Politics

Copyright Alliance Presses Presidential Candidates 291

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not satisfied with the current copyright terms of life plus seventy years and huge financial liabilities for infringement, the Copyright Alliance is pressuring presidential candidates for stronger copyright laws. In particular, they want the candidates to promise to divert police resources to punish even non-commercial copyright infringement. After all, without copyright, what would become of the next Shakespeare, Michaelangelo, or da Vinci?"
The Courts

NY Rejects E-Voting, DOJ Trying to Force the Issue 228

CompaniaHill writes "Hastily passed in the wake of the 2000 election mess, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) supposedly offered funding to help states update their voting systems. In reality, the short deadlines have been used to push the sale of untested and uncertified new e-voting systems. Many states continue to demonstrate that the new e-voting machines are not reliable. The New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) took the time to pass their own voting legislation with additional testing and certification standards which far exceed the HAVA standards. As a result, they missed the HAVA deadlines. In March 2006, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued New York to comply with HAVA. Now, the DOJ is serving a motion to try to take away New York's right to select and acquire their own voting machine systems — in effect, to force e-voting machines on New York anyway. At the moment it's too soon to say how the NYSBOE will respond."

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