March 19, 2005
The Criminals Are Catching Up With Wireless Technology
The New York Times reports that the wireless internet network, which has many convenience advantages to many of us, is also being used for criminal activity as it is unsecured. It becomes easy for wrong-doers to obtain private, personal information of their neighbors who use wireless network connections.
March 18, 2005
Senate Intellectual Property Sub-Committee Established
United States Senator Orrin Hatch will be the head of a new sub-committee to oversee issues of intellectual property law. It will be involved in the protection of U.S. intellectual property in other countries. Read more about this in The Washington Post.
March 17, 2005
Federal Circuit Finds Existence of Patent Claims Against EBay
SiliconValley.com provides details about the Federal Circuit case that found ebay's "fixed-price online marketplace" violated a patent held by MercExchange.
Free Music Downloads on Campus
Many College campuses are trying something new by providing students with free (or highly discounted) access to digital music. This is an effort to prevent students from music file-sharing websites and to obtain music legally. Read more about these efforts in the Washington Post.
March 16, 2005
States Are Looking to Legalize Online Gambling
States are seeking to propose legislation that will permit online gambling and not violate federal laws banning such activity, reports USA Today. Those who favor this legislation point to the money online gambling will generate for states. This could include the sale of lottery tickets online to anyone at least eighteen years of age.
Apple Victory in Cybersquatting Dispute Against British Company
According to CNET, a dispute resolution service found in favor of Apple on claims that a British Company, CyberBritain, registered a domain name that belonged to Apple. The domain name, iTunes.co.uk, allegedly contained one of Apple's trademarks.
March 15, 2005
Consumers Again Focusing on Cookies as Security Problem
According to this article on ZDNet, a recent Jupiter consumer study demonstrated that consumers are increasingly viewing cookie files as a threat to their privacy and security, in part due to the inclusion of cookies in anti-spyware program searches. In a way, this is a return to the past, where consumer attitudes about cookies (frequently driven by lack of understanding) caused many to block them, impeding legitimate uses as well. One wonders if legislation banning cookies is next.
Criminal Conviction For Prank Emergency Calls Via EMails
A man will face six months in prison for sending emails that forced computers to call the 911 emergency telephone number. This certainly sends a strong message to hackers. Read about it in Reuters.
One-Man Campaign to Fight GPL Violations
Harald Welte, free software developer and founder of the gpl-violations.org project, is waging a one-man war on those who would abuse the license requirements of the Gnu General Public License. Most recently, Mr. Welte wrote an open warning letter to 13 vendors exhibiting at CeBIT. See the details here.
New Uses For the Electronic Communication Privacy Act
The Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) was originally enacted for issues involving wiretapping. Now, new questions arise involving communications between computer networks and call on judges for interpretation and clarification of the ECPA. Steven V. Treglia addresses this topic and cases related to it in his article Like Grabbing Jello in the New York Law Journal.
March 14, 2005
Paying For Online News - We May Soon Have No Choice
Newspapers are reporting that more people are reading their news information online than in a printed version. The New York Times has explained that this has caused many newspaper companies to begin watching and looking into charging a fee for online subscriptions. This would provide greater revenue to the companies who are basically giving away their product for free to many readers.
Microsoft Settles Suit With College Student Who Allegedly Sold Software on EBay
As reported in The Register, an Ohio college student was sued by Microsoft after selling the company's educational software for a profit on ebay, the well-known auction website. After claiming ignorance, the student counter-sued alleging that Microsoft makes it extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible, to return software. A settlement was reached, however, and the parties have signed a non-disclosure agreement as to its terms.
March 13, 2005
Wow - E.T. Really Can Phone Home
According to New Scientist, an internet company has begun allowing residents of Earth to use its service to place calls directly into outer space, approximately two light years away. Some explain that this will add extra noise to outer space so "Earth Ambassadors" are urged to "use common sense and judgment." Let's hope they do not have Caller ID.