10/21/2005

Yahoo Raises Prices On Music Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo is boosting the price of a key part of its digital music subscription service, after launching it six months ago with a price tag startlingly lower than rival offerings.

The company sent an e-mail message to subscribers late Thursday night saying the cost of its portable subscription service–the plan that lets listeners download an unlimited amount of music per month and transfer it to compatible portable devices–would effectively double at the end of the month.

The decision reduces some of the pressure on rivals such as Napster and RealNetworks, which had seen their $15 a month services dramatically undercut by Yahoo’s initial $6.99 a month offer. Yahoo said it would raise its monthly price for the portable subscriptions to about $12 as of Nov. 1.

Source: News.com

Company Claims Patent Over XML

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A small software developer plans to seek royalties from companies that use XML, the latest example of patent claims embroiling the tech industry.

Charlotte, N.C-based Scientigo owns two patents (No. 5,842,213 and No. 6,393,426) covering the transfer of “data in neutral forms.” These patents, one of which was applied for in 1997, are infringed upon by the data-formatting standard XML, Scientigo executives assert.

Scientigo intends to “monetize” this intellectual property, Scientigo CEO Doyal Bryant said this week.

Rather than seek royalties itself, Scientigo has forged a tentative agreement with an intellectual-property licensing firm that will handle contracts with third parties, Bryant said. A final agreement could be announced early next week, he said.

“We’re not interested in having us against the world. We’re just looking for ways to leverage an asset; we have pretty concrete proof that makes us feel comfortable saying it is an asset,” Bryant said.

Patent lawyer Bruce Sunstein, a co-founder of Boston-based Bromberg & Sunstein, viewed Scientigo’s patents and concluded that the company will have difficulty in enforcing claims over XML.

Sunstein noted that XML is derived from SGML, which dates back to the 1980s. SGML, in turn, is based on computing concepts from the 1960s. If Scientigo’s claims were ever litigated, the company would have to address all the prior work on data formats.

“You can wish them good luck if you want, but there is a lot of history this patent will have to deal with, and the fat lady has not finished singing on this one yet,” Sunstein said.

Source: News.com

China Blocks Wikipedia

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Chinese authorities to stop blocking accessing to the website of the independent online encyclopedia Wikipedia, whose popularity has been growing steadily in China. The site has been unavailable in several provinces including Shanghai since 18 October.

This latest online censorship paradoxically comes at a moment when China is openly raising the issue of democracy by publishing its first white paper entitled 鈥淭he construction of political democracy in China鈥? on 19 October.

The authorities are censoring Wikipedia in the same way that they censor thousands of websites with information that strays from the official Chinese propaganda on certain issues as Tibet and human rights in China.

Internet users trying to visit the Wikipedia site since 18 October get an error message referring to temporary connection problems for unknown reasons. Wikipedia was previously blocked by the Chinese authorities in June and September 2004 because of dissident political content.

Source: rsf.org

US National Charged With Software Piracy In Philippines

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A US national and his Filipino business partner were charged in the central Philippine city of Cebu with the manufacturing and selling of illegally-copied computer software.

No one has ever been convicted of software piracy in the Philippines, where the illicit industry is estimated to have cost vendors 69 million dollars last year in lost revenue.

Kevin Wayne Cunningham, 42, of Washington D.C. and Rommel Ocariza, 25, of Cebu City were both charged with three counts of violating the Intellectual Property Rights Law, law enforcement officials said.

Officers from the National Bureau of Investigation arrested the men on Friday, as they were about to sell pirated Microsoft software valued at about nine million pesos (160,700 dollars).

Source: AFP

BEA Closes Acquisition of Plumtree Software

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) today announced it has closed its acquisition of Plumtree Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUM). Plumtree Software provides enterprise portal solutions to connect disparate work groups, IT systems and business processes. Its portfolio features the industry’s only cross-platform portal, running on both J2EE and .Net.

“The portal is becoming the point of integration in the enterprise,” said Alfred Chuang, chairman and chief executive officer, BEA Systems, Inc. “Plumtree is a leader in the market for collaborative portals that enhance enterprise connectivity and productivity. BEA is a leader in high-volume, transactional portals for customer and partner interaction as well as internal operations. Today, BEA provides the most complete portal portfolio that spans J2EE and .Net, providing a balanced perspective or view within the enterprise on both the people and operational side of the business.”

Microsoft Releases Office Communicator Mobile to Beta

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday released to beta its Office Communicator Mobile client, which extends the instant messaging and presence awareness of its LCS to smart phones and PDAs based on the Windows Mobile operating system.

Office Communicator Mobile will also allow Live Communications Server users to make voice over IP calls from Wi-Fi-enabled Windows Mobile phones to PCs and vice versa while within the corporate network, said Paul Duffy, senior product manager for Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile, in Redmond, Wash.

The mobile client’s user interface is based on the Office Communicator 2005 desktop client, which in June of this year replaced Windows Messenger as Microsoft’s preferred client for LCS.

General availability of Office Communicator Mobile is slated for the first half of 2006.

Source: eWeek

Researcher: Oracle Patch Set Flawed Again

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A security researcher has reported that Oracle’s most recent quarterly cumulative patch update, released on Tuesday, leaves some flaws exploitable.

David Litchfield, a security research with Next Generation Security Software Ltd., was in the process of auditing the CPU when this story was posted.

Litchfield on Wednesday evening posted to BugTraq a message saying that the patch is still lacking.

“Having downloaded and given the Oracle October patch a cursory examination, some of the flaws Oracle told me were being fixed, remain exploitable,” he wrote. “Once again the patch is not sufficient. I will conduct a full investigation of the patch over the coming few days and post some recommendations once complete.”

The October CPU, a set of 23 patches, is intended to close 85 security vulnerabilities in Oracle databases, servers and enterprise applications.

Source: eWeek

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