timrichardson writes: E.U. Drops Microsoft Antitrust Case Over Browsers. The EU is convinced about Microsoft's moves to offers a genuine choice of browsers, and is dropping the threat of fines and intervention regarding the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. The agreement, announced in Brussels by the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, calls for Microsoft to give Windows users a choice of up to 12 other browsers from competing companies, including Google and Apple.
timrichardson writes: "A supposedly cast-iron way of identifying digital documents, known as a hash function, is looking a bit rusty.
You could, for instance, present your boss with a document to sign. If this all happened electronically, the document might then be hashed to make sure it was not altered after the signing. But if you have a suitably prepared collision attack at your disposal, and have created two very different documents with the same hash, then your boss is at your mercy. Now that could come in handy, says the Economist. Read more, including a fool-proof prediction about who will win the US Presidential election."
timrichardson writes: The British Government has rejected extending copyright for sound recordings. This is an important development in the face of trends to extend copyright duration, although it leaves British copyright protection for music recordings at a shorter duration than for written works. The decision was despite fierce lobbying from the large British music industry. The music industry will now lobby direct to the European Commission, but without the support of the national government, its position is significantly weakened. British copyright for music recordings therefore remains at 50 years after the death of the artist, in contrast to 95 years in the US and 70 years in Australia.