from the here-little-piggy dept.
krou writes "With swine flu fading in the UK (projected winter deaths of 65,000 have been downgraded to 1,000, and new cases are decreasing) the UK government has been left with millions of unused vaccines, and (unlike its contract with Baxter) no clear break-clause to get out of its contract with GlaxoSmithKlein. Although the amount paid for vaccines has not been disclosed, it likely cost the UK government several hundred million pounds. Other governments are also in a similar position: the US ordered 251 million doses of the vaccine, and France and Germany are aiming to cut back on their orders considerably. To say that the case for the pandemic has been over-estimated appears to be an understatement. Now, the WHO has announced that it is to investigate whether or not it bowed to pressure from drugs companies to overplay the threat." (Continues, below.)
[rvr] writes "Last Monday, the Spanish Government published the latest draft for the Sustainable Economy Act, which would enable a Commission dependent of the Ministry of Culture to take down websites without a court order, in cases of Intellectual Property piracy. On Wednesday, using Google Wave, a group of journalists, bloggers, professionals and creators composed and issued a Manifesto in Defense of Fundamental Rights on the Internet, stating that 'Copyright should not be placed above citizens' fundamental rights to privacy, security, presumption of innocence, effective judicial protection and freedom of expression.' Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto. On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Culture Ángeles González Sinde (former president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organized a meeting with a group of Internet experts and signers of the Manifesto. The meeting was narrated in real time via Twitter and concluded without any agreement. On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's staff had a private meeting with the Ministry of Culture and some party members (who also expressed their opposition to the draft). Finally, Spain Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in a press meeting that the text will be changed and a court order will continue to be a requirement, but [the government] still will search for ways to fight Internet piracy."
from the unlimited-and-5GB-are-not-the-same dept.
Pickens writes "Tom Bradley reports in PC World that the new Motorola Droid smartphone will cost users $199.99 with a 2-year contract, with an additional $30 per month for the mandatory 'unlimited' data plan that has a monthly cap of 5Gb. Verizon will charge $50 for each additional gigabyte over the 5Gb limit on the unlimited data plan. Verizon has confirmed that tethering will cost another $30 per month for an additional unlimited data plan that is also limited to 5Gb. If you want tethering you will pay $60 above and beyond the monthly contract for service for an 'unlimited' 10Gb of data per month, and if you plan on connecting with an Microsoft Exchange email account you have to pay another $15 a month. 'Verizon seems to be doing everything it can to make the Droid as unappealing as possible by nickel and diming customers so that actually using it is not cost-effective,' writes Bradley. 'After all of the hype around Verizon's marketing efforts, and generally favorable reviews of the Motorola Droid, users that rush out to get the new device may be in for a shock.' Droid users will have to wait until sometime in 2010 for tethering. 'That service is on our schedule for next year,' says Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney. The delay is because 'the service has to be tested on the phone so until we know it works, we don't offer the service. It is not uncommon for us to introduce the phone and continue to test the service and offer it later.'"