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Medicine

Medical Papers By Ghostwriters Pushed Hormone Therapy 289

krou writes "The New York Times reports on newly released court documents that show how pharmaceutical company Wyeth paid a medical communications firm to use ghost writers in drafting and publishing 26 papers between 1998 and 2005 backing the usage of hormone replacement therapy in women. The articles appeared in 18 journals, such as The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The International Journal of Cardiology. The papers 'emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia,' and the apparent 'medical consensus benefited Wyeth ... as sales of its hormone drugs, called Premarin and Prempro, soared to nearly $2 billion in 2001.' The apparent consensus crumbled after a federal study in 2002 'found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.'"
Patents

British Government Considers Tenfold Increase To Copyright Penalty 154

Out-Law is reporting that the British government is planning to increase the maximum fine that can be awarded for online copyright infringement tenfold. "The Government and the Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) are consulting on the plans, which would allow Magistrates' Courts in England and Wales to issue summary fines of £50,000 for online copyright infringement. The larger fine is proposed for commercial scale infringements, where the person involved profits from the infringement. The plan would implement another of the recommendations of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, the 2006 report by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers which has been the foundation of intellectual property policy since its publication."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Can Remotely Disable iPhone Apps 550

mikesd81 writes "Engadget reports Apple has readied a blacklisting system which allows the company to remotely disable applications on your device. It seems the new 2.x firmware contains a URL which points to a page containing a list of 'unauthorized' apps — a move which suggests that the device makes occasional contact with Apple's servers to see if anything is amiss on your phone. Jonathan Zdziarski, the man who discovered this, explains, 'This suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down. I discovered this doing a forensic examination of an iPhone 3G. It appears to be tucked away in a configuration file deep inside CoreLocation.'" Update: 08/11 13:07 GMT by T : Reader gadgetopia writes with a small story at IT Wire, citing an interview in the Wall Street Journal, in which this remote kill-switch is "confirmed by Steve Jobs himself."
Software

Software Price Gap Between the US and Europe 1003

Kensai7 writes "A quick comparison between same versions of mainstream software sold in the USA and the EU markets show a big difference in the respective price tags. If you want to buy online, let's say, Adobe's Dreamweaver CS3, you'll have to pay $399 if you live in the States, but a whopping E570 (almost $900 in current exchange rates!) if you happen to buy it in Germany. Same story for Microsoft's newest products: Expression Web 2 in America costs only $299 new, but try that in Italy and they will probably ask you no less than E366 ($576!). How can such an abyssal difference be explained? I understand there are some added costs for the localized translated versions, but I also thought the Euro was supposed to be outbuying the dollar. Where's the catch?"
Music

White Paper Decries RIAA Attempts To Raise Infringement Payouts 140

Little Big Man writes "Public Knowledge, the CEA, and six other industry and public interest groups have issued a white paper critical of the attempts of the RIAA and other major copyright players to have statutory infringement levels raised. 'Noting that the courts can currently award massive statutory damages without rightsholders having to demonstrate that they have suffered any actual harm, the white paper calls current copyright law a "carefully designed compromise" meant to balance the interests of both parties ... The authors of the white paper paint a dreary future where "copyright trolls" file lawsuits in order to rake in massive amounts of statutory damages, where innovation is stifled, and where artists are afraid to "Recut, Reframe, and Recycle" because of the financial risks involved.'"

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