12/23/2005

Jews for Jesus Sues Google over Blog

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Christian evangelical group Jews for Jesus is suing Google Inc., saying a Weblog hosted through the Internet search leader’s Blogspot service infringes its trademark.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York Wednesday, seeks to force Google to give Jews for Jesus control of the site as well as unspecified monetary damages.

“We have a right to our own name and Google has allowed the use of our name on Blogspot without our permission,” said Susan Perlman, associate executive director with Jews for Jesus.

“Our reputation is at stake,” Perlman told Reuters.

Google’s Blogspot and Blogger services allow people to set up Weblogs, or online journals known as “blogs” for short, for free. A Google spokesman declined to comment, saying the firm had not yet reviewed the lawsuit.

The disputed blog, http://jewsforjesus.blogspot.com, was started in January 2005 by someone taking the name “Whistle Blower” and airing critical views of the San Francisco-based organization, which seeks to convert Jews to Christianity.

Source: eWeek

Netflix wins first round in online DVD rental war

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When the head of Netflix Inc. said rival Blockbuster Inc. threw “everything but the kitchen sink at us,” the world’s largest video rental chain responded by sending him … a kitchen sink.

The message from last January’s interchange was clear: Blockbuster, with $6 billion in 2004 revenue and 5,500 domestic stores, intended to own online DVD rental, an $8 billion industry pioneered by Netflix.

“This year was about Blockbuster taking a run at us,” Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings told Reuters at the company’s Beverly Hills offices. “They chopped price. They emptied their balance sheet.”

But despite Blockbuster’s costly offensive, Hastings said Netflix was on track for net subscriber additions of 1.5 million for 2005 for a total of 4.1 million — the midpoint of its target range.

Meanwhile, Blockbuster, which has been roiled by management and debt problems, saw the subscriber base at its 16-month-old online service stall at 1 million.

The companies also switched places in market value over the course of an intense, yearlong price war, with Netflix — which has no debt — now worth $1.5 billion, compared with Blockbuster at $684 million and more than $1 billion in debt.

Source: Reuters

Fla. attorney general says his e-mails aren’t spam

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Florida’s attorney general has spearheaded an aggressive campaign against unsolicited e-mails, or spam. But as a candidate for governor, he appears to be generating some unwanted Internet clutter himself.

Charlie Crist was a staunch defender of a tough anti-spam law passed by the state legislature last year, under which violators can be fined up to $500 for every e-mail they send.

But a report in Thursday’s St. Petersburg Times said Crist, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, had annoyed some residents of the state by sending them unwanted e-mails promoting his candidacy and soliciting campaign donations.

Joe Spooner, a 41-year-old investment adviser, told the newspaper he had no idea how the Crist campaign got his e-mail address but repeatedly tried to unsubscribe.

After his fifth request to be removed, Spooner sent the Crist campaign an e-mail of his own. He accused Crist of hypocrisy because of the way he seemed to have forgotten all about his vocal crackdown on spammers.

‘Do I need to file a complaint with the attorney general’s office?” Spooner wrote.

“This is not spam. This is truthful, it’s straight forward. We’re honest. To be spam it has to be, under Florida law, defined as being deceptive,” said Vivian Myrtetus, a spokeswoman for his gubernatorial campaign.

“The attorney general does not consider this spam and is, as you know, at the forefront of protecting citizens against that.”

Source: Reuters

Vonage Lets Children Track Santa’s Flight

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Children Dialing *101 From a Vonage Line Will Learn Where Santa and His Reindeer Are as They Fly Across the World.

Starting December 23, children dialing *101 from any Vonage line will be able to track Santa’s flight from the North Pole.

Dialers will hear Santa tell them he is packing his sled, getting the reindeer ready for their flight and where they are as they fly across the world.

Children can dial *101 using a Vonage line through Christmas 2005.

U.S. vs. the world on file-sharing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Is the United States getting increasingly out of touch with the rest of the world where technology matters are concerned? This week, members of the French Parliament voted to allow free downloads of copyrighted material, a move with provisions similar to a ruling last year by a Canadian judge.

Philosophical differences between the U.S. government and other countries have become abundantly clear in technology-related business matters, as seen in the European Commission’s antitrust actions against Microsoft. And other nations have become frustrated with the United States’ influence over accepted behavior on the Internet, a medium that ostensibly has no geographic boundaries.

Hollywood’s powerful lobbying machine has managed to hold sway in Congress, but its influence wanes quickly beyond U.S. borders. Will an international backlash eventually force fundamental changes in long-held concepts of copyright protections?

Read the complete article @ News.com

D-Day Arrives for SCO

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After more than two and a half years, SCO must finally turn over to the U.S. District Court in Utah any proof it has that there’s Unix code in Linux.

Early attempts by SCO to show Unix code in Linux were quickly refuted as examples of code that had long been available under the BSD license.

In November, SCO turned in 217 areas in which, the Lindon, Utah-based company declared that IBM, or its subsidiary Sequent, violated its Unix licensing contracts. SCO, however, did not publicly reveal any specific details.

On Dec. 22, which is the “Final Deadline for Parties to Identify with Specificity All Allegedly Misused Material,” SCO CEO Darl McBride said in a teleconference that the company would be “taking those 217 areas and expanding upon them. We will make them deeper and broader; polishing the October submissions.”

The actual papers, though, had not been filed by mid-afternoon Dec. 22. McBride said SCO’s lawyers would be “putting them in later today to the court and IBM.”

Source: eWeek

Microsoft, Google Settle Over Employee

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. said late Thursday it had reached a settlement with rival Google Inc. and former employee Kai-Fu Lee, ending a legal battle that had exposed behind-the-scenes rancor between the companies.

In a statement, Redmond-based Microsoft said the three parties had entered into a “private agreement that resolves all issues to their mutual satisfaction.”

Google confirmed the settlement and released a statement from Lee saying he was “pleased with the terms of the settlement agreement.”

Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans would not say when the settlement was reached. He also would not provide details of the settlement, calling it confidential. Google also declined to comment further.

Source: AP

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