1/27/2006

Record Label Blasts RIAA Over File-Sharing Lawsuits

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Recording Industry Association of America has drawn plenty of fire from the thousands of consumers it has sued for illegally downloading music. But on Thursday, a record label threw its hat in the ring, speaking out strongly against the RIAA’s actions and offering to pay the legal fees and fines for one family that has been sued.

Nettwerk Music Group, the Canadian record label and artist-management company that is home to Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies and Sum 41, is taking on the RIAA on behalf of Elisa Greubel, a 15-year-old Texan whose father was sued by the recording industry trade group in August 2005 for owning a computer that allegedly shared more than 600 music files.

Nettwerk Music Group CEO Terry McBride said in a statement that legal action is not the answer. “Suing music fans is not the solution, it’s the problem.”

Source: MTV

Russia to open moonbase mine

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

RUSSIA is planning to mine a rare fuel on the moon by 2020 with a permanent base and a heavy-cargo transport link, a Russian space official says.

“We are planning to build a permanent base on the moon by 2015 and by 2020 we can begin the industrial-scale delivery … of the rare isotope Helium-3,” Nikolai Sevastyanov, head of the Energia space corporation, was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying at an academic conference.

Source: News.com.au

Amazon building a movie store:

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon.com Inc. is reported to be developing an online movie service which would launch in April and offer full-length films from at least two major studios.

The success of Apple Computer’s (AAPL) video iPod was instrumental in encouraging Amazon (AMZN) to develop its plan, according to Variety.

A supplier told the trade publication, Amazon might stream a movie to a customer and credit the purchase against the price of a DVD. Another option might be for a customer who buys a DVD to stream the content over his computer while waiting for delivery. The company does not want to cannibalize DVD sales, Variety reported. A Hollywood executive was quoted saying, “Everything is being leveraged to sell more DVDs. When you go to a product page it will say all the variations about how you’d purchase that video - stream, buy or maybe a combination (of options).”

Source: investors.com

Dance Dance Revolution Helps Schools to Fight Obesity

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dance Dance Revolution has become a cult favorite in local arcades and on beach boardwalks, but it will soon have a new home in West Virginia public schools. The state, which holds the unfortunate title of one of the fattest in America, hopes it will encourage students to start exercising.

A test program was successful in 20 schools last spring. The state’s 157 middle schools will be the first to get the game, with hopes that all 753 public schools would have Dance Dance Revolution in use by 2008.

School officials say that it is not meant to replace gym or health classes, but they hope it reaches those that may dislike those activities.

Source: betanews

Hackers Break Into State Web Site, Take Credit Card Numbers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Hackers who broke into the state’s Web site claim to have stolen as many as 53,000 credit card numbers.

Thomas Viall, the site’s manager, confirmed the break-in Thursday but said far fewer credit card numbers were stolen. He works for New England Interactive, a private company that runs the state’s Web site.

The theft occurred Dec. 28. The hackers posted an account on a Russian Web site two weeks ago. State officials learned of it Thursday after reports began circulating by e-mail.

The hackers said they used Google to search the Web for bits of computer code that indicate a site is vulnerable to a break-in. They narrowed their search to government sites, eventually focusing on RI.gov.

The hackers got names, addresses and encrypted credit card information, Viall told the Providence Journal on Thursday. He disputed the hackers’ claim that they were able to crack the encryption.

The state’s Web site accepts credit cards for nearly a dozen transactions. Viall said several services may have been affected by the break-in but he did not specify which ones. That makes it hard to say which users of the site may have had information stolen.

The hackers posted the names of 38 people and partial credit card numbers on the Russian Web site. Several of those people used their credit cards to register their cars.

Source: boston.com

Google admits ‘big mistake’ with Video Store launch

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A top Google executive has admitted that the search giant made “a big mistake” by not adequately promoting programs for sale on the home page of its Google Video Store when it launched earlier this month.

“We made a big mistake,” Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, told Bloomberg News in an interview in Munich, Germany published on Thursday. “You can’t come out and launch a product like Google Video and say ‘CSI’ and ‘Survivor’ are there if they’re not on the home page.”

Source: News.com

Google pulls ‘we don’t censor’ statement

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google’s support centre has pulled an answer to the topical question “Does Google censor search results?” Since the answer clearly stated the company “does not censor results for any search term”, and given the company’s recent foray into the lucrative Chinese search engine market, it seems fair that the internet monolith would probably want to review that particular stance and relegate the offending item to cache.

Source: The Register

Feds arrest alleged Internet ID thief

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A California man who allegedly duped America Online customers into disclosing their credit card information over the Web was arrested on wire fraud and other charges Thursday.

According to the charges, Jeffrey Brett Goodin of Azusa, Calif., used the fraudulently obtained information to make unauthorized charges using the credit and debit cards of his victims. He allegedly tricked his victims, all America Online subscribers, by sending e-mails urging them to “update” their AOL billing information or lose their service–a method known as phishing.

As is typical with such schemes, the e-mails allegedly sent by Goodin appeared to have come from AOL’s billing department, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles that announced the arrest. The e-mails, which were sent by the thousands, directed recipients to phony Web sites operated by the sender, and prompted potential victims to enter personal information, including credit and debit card numbers.

Goodin, 45, is charged with wire fraud and the unauthorized use of an access device, i.e., a credit card. If convicted of both offenses, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. The FBI, the Secret Service and police in Ontario, Calif., all helped investigate the case.

Source: News.com

Attorney Sues ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Makers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The city attorney’s office has sued the makers of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for allegedly hiding pornographic material inside the video game, officials said.

Rocky Delgadillo said his office sued Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., for making misleading statements in marketing the game and engaging in unfair competition.

The game, released in October 2004, features characters that commit crimes such as murder, drug dealing and pimping. The game also had an embedded “mini game” in which characters could engage in explicit sexual acts.

The industry board that rates video games gave it a mature rating but would have given it an adults-only rating if it knew of the explicit content, Delgadillo said.

Source: AP

AOL wins $5M judgment against spammer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A man who sent billions of junk e-mails hawking online college degrees, sexually explicit Web sites and “generic Viagra” must pay more than $5 million in penalties to America Online Inc., a federal judge ruled.

Christopher William Smith, of Prior Lake, Minn., was considered one of the world’s worst spammers, operating under the name Rizler. He is now in a Minnesota jail awaiting trial on criminal charges that he violated federal drug laws while operating an online pharmacy.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Smith to pay $5.3 million in damages and $287,000 in legal fees to AOL, which filed a civil suit against Smith under a 2004 federal law known as Can-Spam.

Source: AP

Microsoft Readies Second Anti-Spyware Beta

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows Defender Beta 2 will add support for Outlook, a new interface, and automated updates to the spywrae definitions and scanning engine. Where Beta 1 has been available only for Windows XP, Beta 2 will run on other Windows versions.

Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free anti-spyware program that’s been in beta for more than a year, will shift into its second round of testing in the next two months, developers for the Redmond, Wash. company said recently in an online chat.

Defender is the new brand name for what Microsoft still calls Windows AntiSpyware, the add-on that’s been in Beta 1 since it debuted more than a year ago. Beta 1 only works in Windows XP.

Windows Defender Beta 2, on the other hand, will be available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista, with additional editions for earlier Windows posted at some undisclosed future date. It will be included with both the client and server versions of Vista, Microsoft’s next operating system, which is to unveil late in 2006.

Among what’s new in Beta 2, said the developers, is integration with Outlook, Microsoft’s e-mail client, to scan incoming attachments (Beta 1 scans only files retrieved through the browser), a totally-redesigned interface, and automatic updates that include both spyware definition updates and upgrades to the scanning engine, allowing Microsoft to update the software without having to explicitly release a new version.

Source: informationweek

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