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Publishers Warned On Ebook Prices 352

An anonymous reader writes "The DoJ says Simon and Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins conspired to raise the prices of ebooks. The report originates from the WSJ, but the BBC adds comments from an analyst bizarrely claiming increased prices are somehow a good thing and thinking otherwise is the result of 'confusion'. I'd like to see an explanation of why the wholesale model, while continuing to work fine (presumably) for physical books, somehow didn't work for ebooks and why the agency model is better despite increasing costs for consumers."

Micro-USB Cellphone Charger Becomes EU Standard 302

An anonymous reader writes "The European Commission has put into effect a June 2009 agreement stating that major cellphone manufacturers should standardize their charging/data connection ports to the popular Micro-USB format. CEN-CENELEC and ETSI provided the standards by which these 14 companies will abide to make cell phone recharging and data transfer easy." Apple may even bring the next-gen iPad along for the ride.

Australian ISPs To Disconnect Botnet "Zombies" 213

jibjibjib writes "Some of Australia's largest ISPs are preparing an industry code of conduct to identify and respond to users with botnet-infected computers. The Internet Industry Association, made up of over 200 ISPs and technology companies, is preparing the code in response to an ultimatum from the federal government. ISPs will try to contact the user, slow down their connection, and ultimately terminate the connection if the user refuses to fix the problem. It is hoped that this will reduce the growth of botnets in Australia, which had the world's third-highest rate of new 'zombies' (behind the US and China)."

The Imminent Demise of SORBS 290

An anonymous reader lets us know about the dire straits the SORBS anti-spam blacklist finds itself in. According to a notice posted on the top page, long-time host the University of Queensland has "decided not to honor their agreement with... SORBS and terminate the hosting contract." The post, signed "Michelle Sullivan (Previously known as Matthew Sullivan)," says that the project needs either to "find alternative hosting for a 42RU rack in the Brisbane area of Queensland Australia" or to find a buyer. Offers are solicited for the assets of SORBS as an ongoing anti-spam service — it's now handling over 30 billion DNS queries per day. An update to the post says "A number of offers have already been made, we are evaluating each on their own merits." Failing a successful resolution, SORBS will cease operations on July 20, 2009 at 12 noon Brisbane time. Such a shutdown could slow or disrupt anti-spam efforts for large numbers of mail hosts worldwide.

VBA Going Away, Macs Now, PCs Soon 255

Nom du Keyboard writes "As Microsoft drops support for older Office file formats, it looks like Visual Basic for Applications is also going soon. Mac Office 2008 has dropped VBA in favor of enhanced support for AppleScript, and Office 2009 is scheduled to lose it in favor of Mac incompatible Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) or Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). This sounds like the Mother of All Backwards and Cross-Platform Incompatibilities — especially since there appears to be no transition period where both the old and new scripting languages will be simultaneously supported. And as past experience with Visual Studio .NET has shown, upgrade tools are far less than perfect."
Media (Apple)

DRM-Free Means Apple-Free?

Technical Writing Geek sends us an opinion piece from Microsoft Watch that contends that the music labels, finally letting go of DRM, have the additional goal of freeing themselves from Apple's choke-hold on the music business. Quoting: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs is getting exactly what he asked for nearly a year ago: Industry movement away from DRM music. But the DRM freedom he wanted is looking more like DRM freedom from Apple. There has been a whole lot of shakin' going on the last two weeks with respect to DRM-free content: Warner made its library available to Amazon, as unprotected MP3s. Sony BMG announced plans to release its catalog DRM free. In the second quarter, Napster will go back to its MP3 roots, with a library available in the unprotected format... While the DRM-free moves may be good for consumers, many labels have another motivation: DRM freedom from Apple."

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