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News Headlines For Wednesday 31st May 2000
Internet News
  • AT&T moves to extend control of Excite@Home
    Time: 17:30 EDT/22:30 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    High-speed Net provider Excite@Home said today that it will scrap plans for a separate stock to monitor the performance of its media holdings.

    Today’s decision is an about-face from plans for a tracking stock announced in November. Shares of Excite@Home soared on the news, jumping almost 10 percent by market close.

    Forrester Research analyst Bruce Kasrel said that today's decision goes against earlier plans that would have given the broadband Net service provider more autonomy from its majority shareholder, AT&T.

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  • Free Net Access: Everybody's Doing It
    Time: 17:15 EDT/22:15 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Maybe your allegiance to The Simpsons borders on the fanatical. Or you wouldn't dream of bargain hunting anywhere but Kmart. Or you'd rather give up fast food than your subscription to Seventeen magazine.

    Whatever your interest, all three have something in common: in the past year, they've started offering free access to the Internet.

    Yes, it's true. Faithful fans of Bart, Homer and the whole dysfunctional clan can sign up at the Simpsons.com for a free dial-up Internet account.

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  • Palm Buys Online Calendar Service
    Time: 17:11 EDT/22:11 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In its first big splurge since becoming an independent company, handheld computer maker Palm Inc. today announced the acquisition of AnyDay.com for $80 million in cash and stock.

    AnyDay.com, based in Cambridge, Mass., develops online calendar and organization software for the Palm platform. More than a million users have downloaded the software from the company's site, according to AnyDay officials.

    Palm intends to add a services component to the product, developing a wireless services portal so that customers can get real-time calendar access no matter where they are. (Current AnyDay offerings require a desktop cradle for synching.)

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  • Security hole found in Network Associates firewall
    Time: 17:09 EDT/22:09 GMT News Source: InfoWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Unix users of Network Associates' Gauntlet firewall software are being advised to install a patch to protect their networks from possible attacks.

    The security hole, discovered about 10 days ago, occurs when Gauntlet is used with Mattel's Cyber Patrol software, according to Network Associates. The combination of the two applications causes a "buffer overflow vulnerability," which creates an entryway for cyberattacks on the network, the company said in its advisory. The software patch to close the security hole was released May 22 by Network Associates and is available for downloading on the company's Web site.

    The patch supports Gauntlet for Unix Versions 4.2, 5.0, and 5.5. The patch also should be applied to Network Associates' WebShield 100 and 300 series products, which are combined hardware/software bundles that include the Gauntlet firewall.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 30th May 2000
Internet News
  • MusicMatch spins jukebox for Macs
    Time: 16:15 EDT/21:15 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    MusicMatch, a maker of software for playing and organizing music on computers, today unveiled a version for Apple Computer's line of machines, targeting a group of avid multimedia fans it says have been overlooked in the fast-growing market.

    The privately held San Diego company also said yesterday it had won an investment from computer chip giant Intel in a deal that boosts its battle against rival music software makers Microsoft and RealNetworks.

    In addition, MusicMatch jumped into a heated statistical fray in the digital media sector, holding up figures that, it asserts, show its own music software leads the industry.

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  • MP3.com prepares to pipe music into retail outlets
    Time: 16:13 EDT/21:13 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Embattled online music service MP3.com said today that it has formed a retail music licensing division that aims to supply businesses such as grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants with music.

    Subscribers to the service will be able to choose from 424,000 songs and audio files and 67,000 artists through an online account and have the songs delivered over the Internet, the company said in a statement.

    The service will make it possible for businesses to insert their own advertisements into the music mix piped into their stores, the company said.

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  • Intel cuts prices for wide range of chips
    Time: 16:11 EDT/21:11 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Intel has slashed list prices for its desktop and mobile processors, although many of the discounted chips remain in short supply.

    The cuts dropped desktop Pentium III chips by up to 31 percent, laptop Pentium III processors by up to 34 percent and mobile Celeron processors by up to 44 percent. Intel cut the prices of two Xeon processors, used in servers and workstations, by up to 29 percent.

    The pricing moves precede what is expected to be a cavalcade of new chip introductions from both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices in June.

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  • AOL tests Linux-based Web appliance software
    Time: 16:09 EDT/21:09 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online is testing new software that will allow Linux-based Web appliances to access its popular services and browse the Web.

    Details of the new software were posted this weekend on Kenton.org, the Web site that last week posted a download link for a test version of AOL's upcoming version 6.0 software. The site includes links to documents detailing the software's features and capabilities.

    Dubbed "Gamera," the software is in "pre-alpha" testing, meaning it is in the preliminary stages of development. The current incarnation of Gamera combines Web browsing, instant messaging, chat, email, graphics and file transfer capabilities, according to details posted on the Web site.

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News Headlines For Thursday 25th May 2000
Internet News
  • Snoop Dogg's Label Sues MP3.com
    Time: 18:20 EDT/23:20 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    TVT Records Inc., one of the largest U.S. independent record labels, has joined the fray against online music company MP3.com Inc., alleging violations of copyright law in a suit filed on Wednesday.

    Following the line of the five major record labels and several publishing companies, TVT accused the San Diego, Calif.-based company of copyright infringement stemming from My.MP3.com, a service that allows users to effectively store music and then access it via any computer connected to the Internet.

    TVT is home to such acts as rap star Snoop Dogg and the first label of alt-rock act Nine-Inch Nails

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  • Movie theatres challenge AOL Moviefone with online deals
    Time: 18:18 EDT/23:18 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online's decision to stop charging fees for movie tickets purchased at AOL Moviefone.com is being viewed by some as a pre-emptive move for the online giant to fight off two new challengers.

    AOL has been the 800-pound gorilla of online movie ticket sales with its Moviefone.com site, securing contracts with major theater chains to sell tickets for their shows. But new sites owned by those very theater chains are now entering the market and will compete with Moviefone.com.

    Today, MovieTickets.com--a Web site owned by a consortium of theater chains including AMC Entertainment--launched a site that will allow customers to purchase tickets online without having to pay a service fee. The consortium represents 5,000 screens. Another group led by Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which has 12,000 screens, will launch their ticket sale Web site this summer.

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  • EBay Gains Edge in Bidding Suit
    Time: 18:17 EDT/23:17 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A federal judge has barred Bidder's Edge, a website that compares bids on multiple auction sites, from culling data from eBay's computer systems.

    The ruling, issued Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, followed months of legal sparring between the largest online auction site and a Massachusetts startup that runs a comparison shopping site for the Internet.

    EBay filed suit in December in an attempt to stop Bidder's Edge from listing eBay items for auction alongside items from Yahoo, Amazon, and other auction sites. The lawsuit charged that Bidder's Edge violated eBay copyright by posting listings and broke a provision of California law that prevents unauthorized computer intrusion into databases.

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  • Privacy Debate Lands in the Senate
    Time: 18:15 EDT/23:15 GMT News Source: PCWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Widely split on how to regulate privacy practices on the Internet, lawmakers on Thursday took up new legislation generated on behalf of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

    The Senate Commerce Committee convened a hearing to comb through issues surrounding the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2000.

    While certain Senators spoke up for businesses blindsided by the FTC's support for new privacy laws, others expressed concern that self-regulation is not enough.

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  • Forecasting the Future of Technology
    Time: 18:14 EDT/23:14 GMT News Source: PCWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Wireless devices, pervasive computing, and a shift from personal computers to non-PC gadgets will dominate technology developments over the next few years, business services group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says.

    "The desktop PC as we know it will not be such a dominant force. Unit sales will continue to grow but we will see an enormous explosion in non-PC devices," says David King, editor of PwC's study, Technology Forecast: 2000.

    King says technology developments would be dominated by new applications, such as Internet television, radios tuned to Internet broadcasters, e-mail terminals, or so-called smart appliances, such as washing machines able to register faults.

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  • Is Napster Taking A Toll On CD Sales?
    Time: 18:12 EDT/23:12 GMT News Source: ZDNet Market Wire Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A new study out may back up one of the arguments against Napster -- namely, once fans can download songs online for free, they won’t be willing to shell out money for CDs anymore.

    The study, commissioned by digital rights management firm Reciprocal Inc., found that sales of CDs within a five-mile radius of colleges declined 4 percent over the last two years.

    The study was conducted by VNU Entertainment Marketing Solutions, a sister company of SoundScan, a music sales measurement firm. It surveyed SoundScan reporting retail stores.

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  • Dot-Com Bombs: Failures in the Internet Era
    Time: 18:10 EDT/23:10 GMT News Source: Fox Market Wire Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    When Toysmart.com launched its Web site for educational toys last year, it had $45 million of support and promotion from Disney. This week it went out of business.

    "The financial markets have stopped rewarding companies at will," said David Lord, Toysmart's CEO. "As I call it, 'Herd 101' has stopped and it's moved onto the next trend."

    Toysmart's not going down alone. This month the well-financed Craftshop.com is closing shop. And the Digital Entertainment Network, with generous backing from Microsoft and NBC, is liquidating.

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  • Privacy 2000: Should you trust the Web?
    Time: 18:08 EDT/23:08 GMT News Source: CNN Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In the real world, nobody knows what TV commercials you watch or which sitcoms you surf. When you go strolling through the mall, no one's making note of the stores you visit or the clothes you try on. But on the Internet, Web sites are doing all of this and more. And that makes some people mad as hell.

    Jeffrey Wilens is so outraged that he filed a class action suit against RealNetworks for allegedly violating his and other consumers' privacy. The attorney from Mission Viejo, California, claims in his suit that the company's RealJukebox software secretly recorded the titles of music CDs and MP3 tracks he played on his PC, then sent the data back to RealNetworks -- creating a detailed profile of Wilens' musical tastes. The suit, filed last November, seeks damages of at least $500 for each RealJukebox user in California.

    "I don't accept the concept that there is no privacy on the Internet," Wilens says. "I think rogue companies need to learn to modify their behavior."

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News Headlines For Wednesday 24th May 2000
Internet News
  • A Tale Of Two Worlds
    Time: 05:09 EDT/10:09 GMT News Source: Forbes Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    For a continent that thinks of itself as the cradle of modern science and technology, Europe seems slow to catch on these days.

    The continent that gave birth to da Vinci, Galileo and Einstein is years behind the U.S. in technology adoption, especially when it comes to the Internet. Sure, the World Wide Web was invented in Geneva, Switzerland, by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, but Europeans haven't embraced his brainchild as enthusiastically as Americans have. Only about one-fifth of Europeans are online, compared with about half of the U.S. population, according to the American Electronics Association

    It's easy to see why: On average, Europeans have fewer computers, fewer phone lines and fewer cable television subscriptions for fast access. While computers are relatively cheap, Europeans have lower disposable incomes than Americans and are more reluctant to buy things on credit. What's more, access to the Internet is more expensive than in the U.S., thanks to metered local telephone calls in most countries.

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  • We're not ready for cyberspace attacks
    Time: 05:04 EDT/10:04 GMT News Source: Boston Globe Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Computer hackers made headlines recently by lobbing virtual grenades at some of the world's most popular Internet sites. The ''Love Bug'' and its mutations have wreaked havoc around the world.

    But in the war to make businesses secure in today's interconnected world, these attacks were merely skirmishes, nuisance attacks that could have been orchestrated by a C-student testing classroom theories. What would happen if malicious hackers mounted a concerted assault?

    Are banks, brokerages, and insurance companies as ready as they were for the glitch known as Y2K?

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  • Swarm of Yahoo bugs raises security questions
    Time: 04:56 EDT/09:56 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A series of bugs is plunging Yahoo account holders into repeated identity crises.

    For the third time in recent months, Yahoo has acknowledged software glitches that have compromised the integrity of people's accounts. In the current instance, "My Yahoo" account holders found themselves shut out of their accounts, in some cases finding that other people had signed up successfully with their usernames.

    "Apparently someone else opened an account with the same username," one account holder wrote in an email to CNET News.com. "I no longer have access to anything...This is especially frustrating because among other things, I use Yahoo Wallet (which has my credit card information), Yahoo Address Book (my personal contact and phone numbers), Yahoo Briefcase (with files I don't want anyone else to see), Yahoo Photos (my vacation pictures)..."

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  • Instant messaging companies gather to talk strategy
    Time: 04:54 EDT/09:54 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online may have been absent, but its sway over instant messaging was present here today, as a large group of its rivals convened in an effort to hasten the adoption of Web standards for the notoriously fragmented industry.

    Some presenters at the Instant Messaging 2000 conference, including Microsoft and Yahoo, expressed frustration with the lack of progress to date, pointing to AOL as the key roadblock to interoperability between its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and ICQ services and a plethora of new products.

    AOL's competitors said they are in discussions to join forces against their common enemy by independently agreeing on a competing standard rather than waiting for AOL to open its AIM and ICQ networks.

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News Headlines For Monday 22nd May 2000
Internet News
  • Net polling flawed, some researchers say
    Time: 05:57 EDT/10:57 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Pollsters say the Internet allows them to collect public attitudes more quickly and cheaply than the telephone does. But many of the public opinion researchers gathered here this weekend say surveys done strictly online don't measure up.

    They say pure Internet polling fails to survey people who don't have computers--people who tend to have lower income and less education, people more likely to be minorities. And they say it ignores some basic principles of survey research, especially the concept of random sampling.

    They raise the specter of 1936, when a famous survey miscalled the presidential election because it relied on lists of people who owned telephones and cars--at a time when those were luxuries.

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  • Competition comes -- belatedly -- to Net access in Britain
    Time: 05:55 EDT/10:55 GMT News Source: Mercury News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    University students John and Ruth Goodall connect to the Internet only after 6 p.m., and then for less than an hour. With daytime online charges at around eight cents a minute, compared with about three cents a minute at night, ``We just can't afford the telephone charges for hours of surfing,'' Ruth Goodall said.

    Until recently, almost all calls made in the United Kingdom -- even local calls within the same city -- were toll calls, charged by the minute.

    Lack of competition allowed British Telecomm, the former state-owned monopoly that still controls virtually all local telephone access, to charge more for its services than for comparable service in the United States. The lack of competition also reduced the pressure on BT to create new pricing structures to make Internet access more affordable.

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  • Napster gets new CEO, $15 million in venture capital
    Time: 05:45 EDT/10:45 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Music-swapping company Napster got a new chief executive and received $15 million in venture capital from Hummer Winblad, a Napster official said.

    Hank Barry, a partner at San Francisco-based Hummer Winblad, will become interim chief executive officer of San Mateo, Calif.-based Napster, succeeding Eileen Richardson, said Chris Phenner, a business development official at Napster. John Hummer, a co-founder of Hummer Winblad, also will likely join Napster's board, Phenner said in an interview Friday at a charity auction co-sponsored by Angel Investors.

    Napster was in talks with several venture capital firms, though some were reluctant to invest in the company because of the legal cloud over it. The company has been closely watched by investors because of the large potential market for its service as the Internet changes the way consumers get music. Although the company has no revenue, its service has caught on quickly, particularly among college students.

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  • RealNetworks Launches Software Package
    Time: 05:40 EDT/10:40 GMT News Source: Yahoo! Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Internet media software company RealNetworks Inc. on Monday launched new versions of its popular audio and video programs, wrapping them into a single package and jazzing them up with easier controls and guides to find everything from music to movies on the Web.

    The new package, called the Real Entertainment Suite, will include a new version of RealPlayer for receiving audio and video that is ``streamed'', or transmitted, over the Internet, Rob Grady, product manager for Real's consumer group, said in an interview.

    An update to the RealJukebox, which lets users organize and play songs downloaded from the Internet or recorded from a CD, will also be included in the suite, marking the first time Real has tied the products together.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 16th May 2000
Internet News
  • Symantec Aims To Keep Yahoo's Mail Virus-free
    Time: 16:17 EDT/21:17 GMT News Source: Newsbytes Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Symantec Corp., makers of the Norton Anti-Virus family of PC-security software, said today that it has signed up Web portal Yahoo Inc. as its first major customer for what it calls "carrier-grade" virus protection for e-mail.

    The company said that, starting immediately, users of the popular Yahoo Mail service can have inbound and outbound e-mail file attachments scanned to see if they contain such nasty passengers as viruses, worms or Trojans.

    Symantec said all outbound mail is scanned automatically, while users can individually choose to have their incoming files scanned. In addition to detecting and cleaning file attachments, the service can optionally notify senders that they have originated an infected missive.

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  • Gifts entice children to give out family information online, study finds
    Time: 09:54 EDT/14:54 GMT News Source: Nando Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Many children feel comfortable giving out personal family information on the Internet in exchange for gifts and sweepstakes, an independent study has found.

    In exchange for a gift, about two-thirds of children ages 10-17 said they would provide commercial Web site operators with the names of their favorite stores and more than half would give their parents' favorites, according to the study released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center .

    "Parents need to better understand the Web's ability to track information, and kids need to be engaged in serious discussions with their parents about privacy and sharing information," said Joseph Turow, the report's author. "Web sites have the ability to collect and bring together information and create a profile of kids and eventually their families."

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  • Sony Aims to Double Global PC Shipments
    Time: 09:48 EDT/14:48 GMT News Source: Yahoo! Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp said on Tuesday it aims to double its global personal computer shipments to 2.8 million in the year started April 1, reflecting strong demand for its ``Vaio'' series of computers.

    The world's second-largest consumer electronics maker shipped 1.4 million of its ``Vaio'' computers worldwide in the past year to March 31 -- one million notebook models and 400,000 desk-top models.

    The Tokyo-based company on Tuesday unveiled 25 new products in the Vaio series that it will begin selling this summer in Japan, the world's second-largest PC computer market. It also sells the computers in the United States, Europe and a few Asian countries, and plans to expand sales in those markets, the company said.

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  • Phone Phreaks to Rise Again?
    Time: 09:45 EDT/14:45 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Back before there were hackers, phreakers ruled the underground. They may be making a comeback, to the chagrin of those on whom they prey.

    A phreaker explores the telephone system. Some are just electronic voyeurs who want to understand how telecom structure works. Others exploit vulnerabilities in the system to get free long-distance service, re-route calls, change phone numbers, or eavesdrop on conversations.

    In the 1960s and '70s, phreaking usually involved building devices that could trick telephone systems into believing that the phreaker's instructions were originating from the telephone company's internal systems.

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News Headlines For Monday 15th May 2000
Internet News
  • Words Still Flying Over Instant Messaging
    Time: 19:12 EDT/23:12 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    ICast and Tribal Voice sent a compilation of petitions from consumers to the Federal Communications Commission last week, in the latest effort to gain access to America Online's Instant Messenger service.

    AOL is the market leader in the instant messaging (IM) space, with more than 90 million users signed up on "buddy lists" that allow users to send and receive messages in less time than most e-mail takes. But in a move that has caused controversy over the past several months, AOL is blocking members from receiving messages from programs that aren't partnered with AOL.

    "These are petitions from Web users protesting AOL's refusal to allow us to operate instant messaging with their community," said Margaret Heffernan, chief executive of iCast.

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  • Sony's handheld plans start to take shape
    Time: 19:10 EDT/23:10 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Sony is quietly gearing up the strategy behind its entry into the handheld market, developing a family of devices with features that will compete with other Palm licensees.

    The company has been characteristically tight-lipped about details of the device, saying only that it is developing a PDA (personal digital assistant) with multimedia and wireless capabilities, based on Palm's operating system, which it licensed from the handheld company last year. The company declined to comment on specifics of the device.

    But sources say the consumer electronics giant is in fact designing a family of devices spanning a range of market segments and target customers. Sony is said to be developing a line of digital devices focused on wireless communication and capable of interacting with, and even controlling, in some cases, other Sony products, such as TVs and VCRs, via infrared ports.

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  • Release schedule postponed for new Mac OS
    Time: 19:09 EDT/23:09 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A final version of Apple Computer's Mac OS X won't come out until early next year, although the effect of an apparent delay to the release schedule will be minimal, according to analysts.

    Chief executive Steve Jobs said at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., today that Apple will release a "public beta" of its next operating system for desktops this summer containing a futuristic interface called "Aqua," with a final version to arrive early in 2001.

    This appears to represent a postponement of a final version of the OS by approximately six months, although the schedule will allow users to gain access to upcoming technology. In January, Jobs said Apple would release a commercial version of Mac OS X by the middle of this year.

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  • AOL Hit With $3.5 Million Accounting Fine
    Time: 19:08 EDT/23:08 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped America Online with a $3.5 million fine on Monday for financial reporting violations in the way it accounted for advertising costs to attract new customers.

    AOL reported profits in fiscal 1995 and 1996 when it would have shown losses.

    The SEC brought civil and administrative charges in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the world's largest Internet provider. Without admitting or denying the charges, AOL, Dulles, Va., agreed to pay the $3.5 million penalty.

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News Headlines For Friday 12th May 2000
Internet News
  • Lesson Of Love: IT Needs Better Defense Plans
    Time: 06:25 EDT/11:25 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In the aftermath of the most far-reaching virus attack ever, it became clear last week that enterprises need better ways to protect their systems and data.

    The "ILOVEYOU" virus, which spread through e-mail attachments to 82.4 million computers and infected 2.6 million, caused an estimated $6.7 billion in damage, according to researcher Computer Economics.

    As such, it was a piercing wake-up call to IT managers, many of whom concluded they need more formal -- and rigorous -- policies to protect against such viruses.

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  • Site tracks Everest peaking season
    Time: 06:22 EDT/11:22 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Quokka Sports coordinating producer is responsible for the Net megasite's Everest2000.com coverage. He's receiving a steady stream of phone calls, e-mail and digital photographs from expeditions now inching up the world's tallest mountain.

    May is the busiest month on Everest because that's when the notoriously fickle Himalayan weather usually mellows for a few weeks. In past years, dozens of climbers have reached the 29,035-foot summit in May.

    ''This is the big event on the biggest mountain,'' Thomas says. ''It's the Super Bowl and the World Series.''

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  • Intel dives into streaming media
    Time: 06:15 EDT/11:15 GMT News Source: InfoWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Attempting to address the demands of the streaming media market, Intel announced on Thursday the creation of an Internet-services business for streaming-media providers.

    Dubbed the Intel Internet Media Services business, it will aim to provide the infrastructure for companies to stream audio and video content from its broadcast operations centers. The subsidiary will enable media and content providers to stream content such as concerts, films, radio, and briefings across the Internet at a high quality, Intel officials said.

    "Our mission statement is to be the key building block for streaming media infrastructure," said Frank Stone, director of operations at Intel.

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  • Shut-Out Napster Users Get In
    Time: 06:13 EDT/11:13 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Banned Napster users, rejoice. Several people, most on Napster's own message boards, are offering up simple methods for getting around a ban that left 317,377 users locked out of Napster on Wednesday.

    The users had their access to the file-trading application blocked at the request of heavy-metal band Metallica, which claims those people were offering the band's music for illegal trade using Napster's service.

    Software consultant and Stanford senior David E. Weekly wrote in an email to Wired News that banned users could get around the problem by uninstalling the Napster software and reinstalling an older version of the application. That would allow users to log on to the system under a different name.

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News Headlines For Thursday 11th May 2000
Internet News
  • Banned Napster Users Strike Back
    Time: 17:48 EDT/22:48 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Techology got them onto Napster. Technology got them banned. Now, once again, technology is helping some of the 317,377 blacklisted users start downloading music again. Even Metallica's music.

    But they are also upset that Napster may have used technology to trick them into downloading a tracking ID into their personal computers, helping the company enforce its ban.

    Napster announced Wednesday that it was preventing access to users identified by the heavy metal ban Metallica as trading in unauthorized copies of their songs. The Napster service allows users to exchange personal MP3 music files.

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  • Hacker grabs credit card numbers from broadcaster
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A hacker broke into the computer file that holds the names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers of Maine Public Broadcasting's 63,000 radio and TV members.

    Station representatives said they cannot yet tell if any of the information was downloaded or even looked at, and it is too early to determine if anything illegal has been done with the information.

    "It's possible this hacker came in just to intrude, get out and brag about it," spokeswoman Rhonda Morin said.

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  • House OKs new Net tax moratorium
    Time: 17:45 EDT/22:45 GMT News Source: ComputerWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    E-commerce received a potential boost Wednesday in Washington when the House of Representatives passed a bill to stave off Internet taxes until 2006.

    The Cox-Wyden Internet Nondiscrimination Act passed without a hearing in a 352-75 vote. It now moves on to the Senate.

    The bill extends the present ban on new e-commerce taxes. That ban was enacted in 1998 and ends in October 2001.

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  • MP3.com suspends part of service
    Time: 17:40 EDT/22:40 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A legally disputed service that allows consumers to store popular songs on the Internet site of a digital music company was partially shut down Wednesday.

    The Internet site's operator, San Diego-based MP3.com, disabled the service to prevent anyone from storing music produced by major recording companies until a copyright lawsuit is settled.

    A federal judge in New York earlier this month ruled that the service infringed on the copyrights of the nation's major record companies.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 10th May 2000
Internet News
  • Napster boots 317,377 users from service
    Time: 05:20 EDT/10:20 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Music software company Napster said today it has blocked 317,377 user screen names that have been identified by Metallica as allegedly infringing on the rock band's copyrights.

    Last week, the band delivered 13 boxes full of legal documents identifying user names of people who allegedly had made Metallica songs available online and demanded that they be blocked from the MP3 music-swapping service.

    The music company agreed today but cautioned that "it is possible that users have been mistakenly implicated."

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  • Yahoo, Excite@Home may join instant messaging complaint
    Time: 04:20 EDT/09:20 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    CMGI is rallying Internet companies to demand further government scrutiny of America Online's pending merger with Time Warner, citing AOL's refusal to open its instant messaging services to rivals.

    iCast and Tribal Voice--both privately held, CMGI majority-owned firms--have requested support from Web giant Yahoo and cable Internet service provider Excite@Home, among others. iCast and Tribal Voice could present a letter to regulators by the end of the week, according to sources familiar with the plans, provided enough companies in the industry sign on.

    "We're outreaching and building a coalition of companies that would want this space to be open," a CMGI spokeswoman said.

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  • Emachines outlines the key(board) to its growth
    Time: 04:18 EDT/09:18 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The fast-growing company began shipments of personal computers in November 1998, catering to first-time PC buyers and those looking to use their computers primarily to send email and surf the Web.

    As a result, about 47 percent of Emachines customers have never before bought a computer. The vast majority use their computers mainly to access the Internet and to perform simple tasks such as word processing.

    But as Emachines matures, so does the computer literacy of its customers. The Irvine, Calif.-based company unveiled a new business strategy this week, which executives say will take it beyond the realm of PC sales and broaden its customer base to include more technologically astute computer users. The company expanded on its new approach at the annual Chase H&Q Technology Conference in San Francisco.

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  • Computer Associates to rent applications
    Time: 04:15 EDT/09:15 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The business software maker has teamed up with service providers to offer Computer Associates' network and systems management software to small and medium-sized businesses.

    The company's software monitors the health of networks and computing systems. The software scans network devices and computers, ensuring that services such as email and the Internet don't go down.

    With today's announcement at the Networld+Interop conference, Computer Associates joins a growing list of companies entering the application service provider market, an emerging industry that lets businesses rent software.

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  • Free ISP NetZero Gets Easier
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Free Internet access through NetZero is simpler in a recently revised version, but it still exacts a price.

    You pay, you may recall, by providing demographic information about yourself. You also watch endless banner ads and submit to having your every move monitored.

    In exchange, you get free dial-up access, now through an enhanced version of the NetZero client software called Z3. It features a revamped ZeroPort navigation tool, as well as the capability to log in over an existing network connection.

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  • Newest version of 'desktop Java' runs fast
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: InfoWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Sun has released the newest version of "desktop" Java 2, designed to run faster and use less memory than its predecessor.

    Java 2 Standard Edition is a Java implementation intended for client computers. The newest release is Version 1.3. The performance improvements, mainly through use of Sun's Java HotSpot Client Virtual Machine, are vital if Java is to be more viable on client computers.

    According to Sun, the new version is 40 percent faster at start up compared to the prior release, and uses 25 percent less memory.

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  • Be Says Its OS Is Booming
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The latest version of the Be operating system has hit the million mark, the vendor declares.

    One million customers have downloaded the BeOS 5.0 Personal Edition since its release on March 28, Be reports on Tuesday. The operating system, available for free on the company's Web site, has also been distributed on CD-ROM through several magazine inserts and other sites that offer free software downloads.

    But opinions vary as to how the company hit 1 million downloads.

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News Headlines For Monday 8th May 2000
Internet News
  • All-Star site wary of fans' ballot stuffing
    Time: 17:50 EDT/22:50 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    It doesn't take Gallup or Chilton to tell how popular opinion polls are with Web users. But as the crew at a start-up sports site might soon find out, polling could cause headaches.

    Seasonticket.com, which will begin offering on-demand sports video highlights this month, becomes the official host site for baseball's online All-Star balloting Monday.

    The site is likely to be targeted by hackers trying to stuff the box for their favorite player or just cause some trouble.

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  • Email marketing to increase 40-fold
    Time: 17:48 EDT/22:48 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Commercial email--mail selling products and services--is expected to increase 40-fold by 2005, with marketers spending about $7.3 billion a year to send it, according to a study released today by Internet research company Jupiter Communications.

    In 1999, Jupiter estimated commercial email spending at $164 million.

    "Businesses are beginning to perceive email marketing as the silver bullet for acquisition and retention strategies; it's fast, cost-effective and provides immediate feedback," Jupiter senior analyst Michele Slack said.

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  • Red Hat rethinks news site, portal plans
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Red Hat quietly has scaled back its plans to create a Linux and open-source news site, a setback for the company's strategy to diversify its revenue streams and create a dominant Linux Web site.

    Red Hat launched the site last year as part of its plans to bring as many visitors as possible to the company's Web site. The site, called Wide Open News, was envisioned as more than a public service for open-source software. Red Hat planned to create a destination for all things Linux and to earn revenue through ad sales, software sales and leads on service contracts.

    On Friday, though, the company laid off three of the four Wide Open employees and transferred the fourth to another position, said Walter McCormack, general manager of Red Hat's overall Web site.

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  • Napster to face trial on music piracy claims
    Time: 17:45 EDT/22:45 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A federal judge has ordered the controversial Napster music-swapping company to stand trial for copyright infringement, handing the start-up a setback in its wide-ranging legal battle with the recording industry.

    U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel late Friday found that Napster is not a "mere conduit" for information, rejecting arguments that the case should be thrown out because the company is not directly responsible for copyright infringement on its network.

    In court papers, Napster has argued it is entitled to some of the same protections from copyright liability as Internet service providers are afforded under recently enacted digital copyright laws. ISPs that respond appropriately to complaints of infringement on their systems cannot be ordered to pay damages under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act .

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  • VW Sells Limited-Edition Beetles Online
    Time: 17:40 EDT/22:40 GMT News Source: The Standard Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Volkswagen began selling special editions of its Beetle exclusively online Thursday, in an aggressive test of the Internet as a direct marketing and sales tool.

    The company has made its Web site an integral part of the buying process for two new Beetle color choices, even though only 2,000 units of each color are available and even though consumers are only able to view the cars and begin the buying process online.

    To purchase a Beetle in one of the new colors – Vapor Blue and Reflex Yellow – consumers visit the VW.com site, select the car they want to buy and enter their personal information. Buyers then negotiate with a local VW representative through an online message board before purchasing the car from their local dealership.

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News Headlines For Friday 5th May 2000
Internet News
  • DoubleClick hit with patent suit by online ad rival
    Time: 17:59 EDT/22:59 GMT News Source: ComputerWorld Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Picking a legal fight with the top dog in the online advertising business, Internet media firm 24/7 Media Inc. today announced that it's suing DoubleClick Inc. for alleged patent infringement.

    24/7 Media, which filed the suit in U.S. District Court in New York, said it's seeking unspecified monetary damages as well as an injunction that would bar DoubleClick from further infringement. Both companies are based in New York.

    The lawsuit centers on an enabling technology for DoubleClick's DART ad serving system, which gears certain advertisements toward targeted Internet users. 24/7 Media claimed the technology is subject to a patent it holds called "On-Line Interactive System and Method for Providing Content and Advertising Information to a Targeted Set of Viewers."

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  • Intel workers charged with software piracy
    Time: 17:45 EDT/22:45 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A federal grand jury filed charges against five Intel Corp. employees and 12 alleged computer software pirates for conspiracy to infringe more than 5,000 program copyrights, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar alleged in a statement that the Intel employees supplied computer hardware to a group called ''Pirates With Attitudes,'' which disseminated stolen copies of software, including programs that were available through a hidden Internet site based in Quebec, Canada.

    ''This group is one of the oldest and most sophisticated networks of software pirates anywhere in the world,'' Lassar said.

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  • PC shipments rise despite fewer sales in Europe
    Time: 17:40 EDT/22:40 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    European personal computer shipments rose 5.6 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year ago, although fewer people bought desktop computers in the region.

    European PC shipments reached 7.5 million units, up from 7.1 million a year earlier, according to Dataquest., a unit of Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group. Still, desktop shipments in the first quarter grew less than 1 percent over shipments a year ago.

    "A failure in the deskbound growth rates has damped the whole market down," said Howard Seabrook, a Dataquest analyst. "However, in contrast, mobile computer shipments grew 38 percent in the first quarter, a performance hampered by lack of supply rather than lack of demand."

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  • Philippine email addresses source of virus, ISP says
    Time: 17:35 EDT/22:35 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The "I Love You" computer virus creating havoc on computer systems worldwide was first spread through two email addresses in the Philippines, the Internet service provider that was used said today.

    "What happened is the author of the virus used two email addresses through Supernet, 'spyder+super.net.ph' and 'mailme+super.net.ph,'" said Jose Carlotta, chief operating officer of Access Net, a Manila Internet company.

    Access Net is the owner of Supernet, a prepaid ISP.

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  • Intel's 'Timna' to kick-start low-end PCs?
    Time: 17:30 EDT/22:30 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The low-cost chip could revitalize the stalled market for sub-$600 PCs -- or prove to be another expensive stumble in jamming more features on chips.

    Intel Corp.'s forthcoming Timna chip could revitalize the stalled market for sub-$600 PCs -- or prove to be another expensive stumble in attempts by chip makers to jam more features on a single chip.

    The issue: Are PC buyers willing to accept lower clock speed and overall expandability in exchange for a lower price tag?

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News Headlines For Thursday 4th May 2000
Internet News
  • E-Stamp outages turning customers away
    Time: 16:41 EDT/21:41 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Customers who signed up for E-Stamp's online postage service are stuck back in line at the post office.

    E-Stamp, a postage site for home customers and small businesses, has had spotty service and outages since early this week. Customers requesting stamps from the site have received messages that read: "Error Code 12007, the server name could not be resolved. Please contact technical support."

    E-Stamp's help page states: "You currently may be unable to access some of our Web services, including purchasing postage and E-Service. We are working to correct this problem. Please try again at a later time."

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  • Delayed by feature creep, it's ... Linux?
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    It's running a year late. But many distributors, developers and customers say they couldn't care less.

    A new version of Microsoft Windows? Not this time. It's the next version of the Linux kernel, 2.4, which is about a year behind its promised delivery date.

    While the Windows world is all too accustomed to dealing with delays and vaporware, the Linux camp had until recently enjoyed a fairly regular nine- to 12-month update cycle. But at the current rate of development, Linux 2.4 may not reach final status until October.

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  • FTC keeping eye on Web ads
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Online advertisements must meet the same standards for truthfulness and carry the same clear disclaimers as print and television ads, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

    In an advisory to businesses, the FTC said it's applying traditional consumer protection laws to the booming online industry. The FTC said it isn't creating new regulations for advertising and sales on the Internet.

    The FTC polices advertising claims for their accuracy and has taken the lead in enforcing consumer protection laws on the Internet.

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  • Palm stretches services with Net access, email
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    3Com and Aether Systems said their OmniSky joint venture has started a wireless Internet and email service for people using Palm's electronic organizers.

    The OmniSky wireless services, which will be provided through AT&T Wireless Group's network, will cost $39.95 a month for unlimited use and up to six email boxes. People will be able to access the services using a Palm handheld computer and OmniSky's wireless modem in about 70 percent of the United States, including most major metropolitan areas, the companies said.

    The announcement comes as more companies, including those outside of the Internet and telecommunications industries, are seeking to capitalize on the growing number of Palm customers and the demand for universal Internet and email access. Last month, Palm said it plans to offer wireless Net access for all its devices as such services gain popularity.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 2nd May 2000
Internet News
  • Hollywood Plugs Into the Net
    Time: 16:36 EDT/21:36 GMT News Source: PCWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    It used to be that you weren't really a star in Hollywood until you had a table at Spago. Now you haven't arrived until you have stock options in a dot-com that is touting your name in its prospectus.

    "I'm barraged by calls from dot-coms. It's the latest Hollywood trend," says lawyer Jay Cooper, whose clients include comedian Jerry Seinfeld and rock star Sheryl Crow.

    "The Internet is coming to the Hollywood community because these dot-coms realize that celebrities and entertainment are the best way to market themselves," he says.

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  • MP3.com likely to settle case, exec says
    Time: 16:33 EDT/21:33 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Even as a Web site involved in a nasty battle with record companies seeks a solution to its legal woes, another popular music swap program continues to split the artist community.

    MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson, whose company suffered a serious setback in court Friday, said Tuesday that he is in negotiations with the industry to settle the issue of copyright infringement.

    "The last thing a young Internet company needs is to get dragged into a lengthy court battle, and the record companies really need a well-thought-out music delivery system like My.MP3.com," Robertson says.

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  • New DDoS attack tool in development
    Time: 16:28 EDT/21:28 GMT News Source: PC Week Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Unknown programmers last week posted the source code to a new distributed denial-of-service tool currently under development.

    According to an analysis of the tool published Monday by David Dittrich of the University of Washington and three other researchers, the tool, known as MStream, seems to be able to fly under the radar of a technique known as egress filtering, which is designed to stop DDoS attacks.

    "The lesson here is that there is no 'quick fix' to DDoS in the form of simple technical filtering solutions," states the analysis. In February, attackers using DDoS tools like MStream were able to disrupt traffic to eight major Web sites, including Yahoo, eBay and ZDNet.

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News Headlines For Monday 1st May 2000
Internet News
  • IBM redesigns ThinkPad notebook line
    Time: 17:59 EDT/22:59 GMT News Source: PC Week Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Notebook PCs should be faster, lighter and simpler to use, IBM says.

    In support of that credo, IBM's Personal Systems Group on Monday announced a redesign of its ThinkPad line of notebook computers. The makeover of three of IBM's five ThinkPad models adds a number of new features.

    In addition, IBM said the new portables will be available in two new product lines, known as the ThinkPad A and ThinkPad T families.

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  • Online trading firms targeted for false advertising
    Time: 17:55 EDT/22:55 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Federal regulators, seeking to protect investors from losing their life savings by day trading securities, said today it had halted false and misleading advertising schemes by 13 online firms which promised quick profits with little risk.

    The crackdown targeted operators of Web sites that the government said promised profits through the buying and selling of stocks, commodities and foreign currencies no matter whether the market went up or down, misrepresented testimonials about supposed profits and falsely claimed that little risk was involved.

    People who push day trading systems or services as a sure way to make money are peddling pipe-dreams," Jodie Bernstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.

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  • Supreme Court Upholds ISP Ruling
    Time: 17:49 EDT/22:49 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday the dismissal of a lawsuit against an Internet service provider after an impostor using a 15-year-old boy's name sent a threatening, profane email and posted two vulgar bulletin board messages.

    The justices without any comment or dissent denied an appeal by a minor who had sued Prodigy Communications Corp. for defamation and negligence over the messages sent in 1994.

    At the time, Alexander Lunney was a Boy Scout and student at Bronxville High School in New York, and had never been a Prodigy member. An impostor using his name opened several membership accounts with Prodigy.

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  • Privacy isn't public knowledge
    Time: 17:45 EDT/22:45 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Most major Web sites now have privacy policies explaining how they collect and use personal information gathered from visitors. The government has long pushed for such policies, and companies hope that if sites post them voluntarily, Congress won't step in and pass restrictive privacy laws.

    Few argue with the importance of disclosure. But do big Web sites want you to understand what they tell you? Maybe not, suggests an analysis by an independent expert for USA TODAY of the privacy policies of 10 major sites.

    Many of the Web sites have been certified by industry bodies such as TRUSTe. But without exception, policies are ponderous, full of jargon or written so as to leave many surfers scratching their heads, says Mark Hochhauser, the psychologist and linguistics expert who analyzed the sites.

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Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for March and April News.

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