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Friday, March 24, 2006

US government supports Apple stand on French law - Engadget

US government supports Apple stand on French law - EngadgetUS government supports Apple stand on French law

Posted Mar 23rd 2006 6:30PM by Marc Perton
Filed under: Portable Audio
In what's shaping up to be the biggest Franco-American battle since US lawmakers renamed their favorite side dish "Freedom Fries," the US government has now declared its support for Apple in the company's dispute with France over DRM interoperability. US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, questioned about the case on CNBC, declared that he would "compliment [Apple] because we need for companies to also stand up for their intellectual property rights. At issue is a draft law that would require Apple and other companies to open up their DRM to competitors or allow consumers to do so on their own, so that music purchased in an online music store could be played in any manufacturer's digital audio player. Earlier this week, Apple referred to the French bill as part of a "state-sponsored culture of piracy." While Guiterrez didn't say whether the US government would do anything specific on Apple's behalf, he did say that it's a good policy to "have the government work with other governments." We assume this will continue to escalate, and it'll only be a matter of days before French students start burning iPods in the streets and Americans retaliate by torching Archos Gminis. And it looks like the cafeteria in Cupertino will have to start serving iToast for breakfast.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Windows Vista for Consumer in January 2007

Windows Vista for Consumer in January 2007
Microsoft Corp. has confirmed that Windows Vista, the next generation of the Windows client operating system, is on target to go into broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in the second quarter of 2006. Microsoft is on track to complete the product this year, with business availability in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007.

The company says Windows Vista will deliver greater value to businesses by seamlessly connecting people to information, enabling increased mobile and remote productivity, significantly reducing deployment and support costs, and providing a more secure and compliant desktop platform.

More than half a million customers have received the latest community technology preview for Windows Vista.

Microsoft will start distributing the new operating systems to businesses first, saying that the way businesses test and deploy software is a factor. Microsoft volume licensing customers will receive windows Windows Vista starting in November of this year. Availability for consumers and on new PCs will follow in January 2007.

Monday, March 20, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Google ordered to hand over data

BBC NEWS | Technology | Google ordered to hand over data Google ordered to hand over data
A federal judge has ordered internet search engine Google to turn over some search data, including 50,000 web addresses, to the US government.

However, Judge James Ware denied a request that Google hand over a list of people's search requests.

The Justice Department had wanted access to search records to help prevent access to online pornography.

The judge said privacy considerations led him to deny part of the department's request.

"This concern, combined with the prevalence of internet searches for sexually explicit material, gives this court pause as to whether the search queries themselves may constitute potentially sensitive information," he said in his ruling.

Google lawyer Nicole Wong said it was reassuring that the judge's decision had "sent a clear message about privacy".

"What his ruling means is that neither the government nor anyone else has carte blanche when demanding data from internet companies," she said.

Public perceptions

The ruling said the request for 50,000 web addresses, or URLs, was relevant for use in a statistical study the government is undertaking to defend the constitutionality of its child anti-pornography law.

Earlier, the government had reduced its request to just 50,000 web addresses and roughly 5,000 search terms from the millions or potentially billions of addresses it had initially sought.

"The expectation of privacy by some Google users may not be reasonable," Judge Ware wrote, "but may nonetheless have an appreciable impact on the way in which Google is perceived, and consequently the frequency with which users use Google."

The case has focused attention on the issue of personal information held by internet companies.

The US Government is seeking to defend the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which has been blocked by the Supreme Court because of legal challenges over how it is enforced.

It wants the data from the search engines to prove how easy it is to stumble over porn on the net.

Three of Google's competitors in internet search technology - AOL, Yahoo and MSN - have complied with subpoenas in the case.
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