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Messaging Apps, VoIP Already Eating Into Carrier Revenue 225

An anonymous reader writes "A new breed of messaging services and mobile Voice over IP clients like Skype are already eating into carrier revenues according to a new study. '... one-third of carriers are already seeing voice traffic and SMS revenue decline as a result of the increased popularity of third-party solutions. ... For years, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger service has been one of the top features consumers and enterprise users loved about BlackBerry devices. It took much longer than some expected, but other vendors and third-party developers have finally come out in full force with competing services that provide SMS-like messaging over data networks at little or no cost to the user."

NASA Banned From Working With China 284

astroengine writes "In the wake of the Chinese cyber-threat and claims of espionage, a clause included in the US spending bill approved by Congress to avert a government shutdown a few weeks ago has prohibited NASA from coordinating any joint scientific activity with China. The clause also extends to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."

Facebook Will Shut Down Beacon To Settle Lawsuit 101

alphadogg writes "Facebook has agreed to shut down its much-maligned Beacon advertising system in order to settle a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in August of last year, alleged that Facebook and its Beacon affiliates like Blockbuster and violated a series of laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Video Privacy Protection Act, the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Computer Crime Law. The proposed settlement, announced late on Friday, calls not only for Facebook to discontinue Beacon, but also back the creation of an independent foundation devoted to promoting online privacy, safety and security. The money for the foundation will come from a US$9.5 million settlement fund."
The Almighty Buck

Higher Oil Prices Are Starting To Bring Jobs Home 777

penguin_dance notes a report up at ABC News that high oil and gas prices in the US may be moving jobs back home in a trend that some economists are calling "reverse globalization." It's becoming more and more expensive to ship finished product from other countries, so some companies are moving the manufacturing back to the US. The article hints that this trend may spill over soon to raw materials such as steel. One economist is quoted: "It's not just about labor costs anymore. Distance costs money, and when you have to shift iron ore from Brazil to China and then ship it back to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good at 40 bucks an hour."
Internet Explorer

Firefox Now Serious Threat to IE in Europe 384

Tookis writes "Mozilla's Firefox web browser has made dramatic gains on Microsoft's Internet Explorer throughout Europe in the past year with a marked upturn in FF use compared to IE over the past four months, according to French web monitoring service XiTiMonitor. A study of nearly 96,000 websites carried out during the week of July 2 to July 8 found that FF had 27.8% market share across Eastern and Western Europe, IE had 66.5%, with other browsers including Safari and Opera making up the remaining 5.7%. In some key European markets FF has already reached parity and is threatening to overtake IE as the market leading browser."

FCC Head Wants New Wireless Devices Unlocked 221

[TheBORG] writes with news that FCC chairman Kevin Martin wants 700-MHz wireless devices and services to be unlocked. Spectrum auctions for the 700-MHz airwaves, being opened up for fixed and mobile broadband, are scheduled for early next year. "The proposed rules would apply only to the spectrum being auctioned, not the rest of the wireless business, which still makes most of its revenue from voice calls. But Martin's proposal, if adopted by the FCC, could reverberate through a U.S. wireless industry that has tightly controlled access to devices and services... Like most devices sold in the USA, the iPhone ... allows only features and applications that Apple and AT&T provide and works only with an AT&T contract. The FCC chairman said he has grown increasingly concerned that the current practices 'hamper innovations' dreamed up by outside developers. One example:... 'Internationally, Wi-Fi handsets have been available for some time,' Martin noted. 'But they are just beginning to roll out here.'"
XBox (Games)

Microsoft Acknowledges 360 Issues, Extends Warranty to 3 Years 205

RamblinLonghorn writes "Microsoft has announced that they are extending the warranty for all Xbox 360s to 3 years. This appears to be entirely retroactive and that 'those who have already paid for such repair charges can expect reimbursement checks for the amount of their console repair.' It seems as though Microsoft is accepting the blame for the hardware malfunctions, but it is worth noting that this warranty modification only applies in the 'Red Rings of Death' situation."

Judge Rules In Favor Of Spamhaus 232

Waylon writes "U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras has ruled in favor of The Spamhaus Project. e360 Insight responded on its homepage, saying the judge's ruling was 'a devastating loss of personal freedom for all U.S. citizens'. As opposed to shutting down a voluntary service which tries to mitigate the millions of unsolicited emails that e360 Insight pumps out every single day." From the article: "In his order, Judge Kocoras wrote that the relief e360insight sought is 'too broad to be warranted in this case' and that suspending the domain name would 'cut off all lawful online activities of Spamhaus, not just those that are in contravention' of the default judgment. He also called e360insight's motion one that 'does not correspond to the gravity of the offending conduct.'"

Microsoft Agrees to Changes in Vista Security 318

An anonymous reader writes "Bowing to pressure from European antitrust regulators and rival security vendors, Microsoft has agreed to modify Windows Vista to better accommodate third-party security software makers. In a press conference Friday, Microsoft said it would configure Vista to let third-party anti-virus and other security software makers bypass 'PatchGuard,' a feature in 64-bit versions of Windows Vista designed to bar access to the Windows kernel. Microsoft said it would create an API to let third-party vendors access the kernel and to disable the Windows Security Center so that users would not be prompted by multiple alerts about operating system security. In addition, Redmond said it would modify the welcome screen presented to Vista users to include links to other security software other than Microsoft's own OneCare suite. From the article: 'It looks like Microsoft was really testing the waters here, sort of pushing the limits of antitrust and decided they probably couldn't cross that line just yet.'"

Genetic Engineers Working to Reverse Cancer 121

An anonymous reader writes "Using a patient's own modified white blood cells, a team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute has reversed advanced melanoma in a study of 17 patients. The researchers tweaked the blood to recognize and attack cancer cells, and the head of the National Institutes of Health, Elias Zerhounibut, says there's big hope now that other common cancers, like breast and lung cancer, can be similarly treated. Though only 2 of the 17 patients responded successfully to the treatment, researchers are optimistic that future improvements on the technique will improve that rate of success." From the article: "In the study, Rosenberg and his colleagues took lymphocytes from the blood and inserted into them genes for a receptor capable of 'recognizing' a protein on melanoma cells called MART-1. This would allow the lymphocyte to attach to a tumor cell and kill it. The patients, all of whom had previously undergone surgery and immune-based treatments, got chemotherapy to temporarily wipe out their immune systems. The engineered cells were then reinjected, with the hope they would proliferate as the immune system recovered."

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