Microsoft blocks Live Messenger access in 5 countries Vnunet
Users in five countries will be without access due to US sanctions. Microsoft has said it is shutting off access to its Windows Live Messenger instant messaging service for users living in countries embargoed by the United States, according to reports. The countries affected by the ban are Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and North Korea, said a ZDnet.com report. When trying to log in they will be met with an error message: 810003c1: We are unable to sign you into the .NET Messenger Service. Reason: Microsoft has discontinued providing Instant Messenger services in certain countries subject to United States sanctions. Details of these sanctions are available from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. According to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed the move, although as many of the sanctions imposed by the US date back nearly ten years, it is currently uncertain why Microsoft has decided to follow them now by banning the service.
McAfee anti-virus software deletes Spotify Broadband Genie
… anti-virus software McAfee, provided as standard by several internet service providers including O2 and Sky, made a major goof today when its latest update was sent out: it deletes the .exe (the executable files that make the software work) files for hugely popular streaming music phenomenon Spotify when the program is run. The Spotify blog said: “A little bit of unwanted excitement today when McAfee released an update to their virus definition file. This caused the antivirus software to falsely identify Spotify as a virus. Both Spotify and McAfee are aware of this problem and they have released an update for their antivirus software. I can assure you that Spotify is not a virus and contains no virus files, this is simply a misunderstanding on McAfee`s part.” [What else is new? - Jon]
Researchers Mine Cell Phone Data for Insight Into Human Behavior PBS
Now, scientists are discovering that a world buzzing with cell phone calls and text messages has a side benefit: reams of data about who calls whom and about where they are at what time. Researchers are beginning to use that information to answer questions about how people behave, where they travel, and the social networks that connect them.
Venezuela: $15 Bolivarian cell phone isn’t a “penis phone” – Apple Look out! Ars Technica
Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian revolution” has just revolted its way into cell phone design, producing a US$13.95 handset/MP3 player in Venezuela with Chinese parts. Chavez has big plans for the phone, which he wants to export to the world, but much of the talk so far has focused on its name, “Vergatario”âas one YouTube commenter put it, “creo que la traducion corecta es: Big Wang.” “Verga” is a Venezuelan slang term for “penis.” The fact is glossed over in some Spanish newspaper accounts, which say that the phone’s name only signifies “excellence.” But, as The Guardian points out, the root word retains prominence. And Chavez can’t keep himself from chuckling when he says it. Let’s talk quality- Despite the name, early batches of the device are selling. The first 5,000-unit shipment sold out quickly. As its price suggests, the device is basic but does offer MP3 playback, phone, camera, radio, and text messaging. Chavez’s goal is to produce the cheapest phone in the world, offering a device that even the poor can afford. It’s no iPhone, but that’s exactly the point.
Google Street yanks McCartney’s house UPI
Photos of Paul McCartney’s London house were removed from the locator Web site Google Street View after the rock N roll star’s security team complained. The Daily Telegraph said the Web site, which was launched in England in March, has been criticized for allegedly violating people’s privacy, and making residents vulnerable to burglars and other villains. [Also see p2pnet's Google gets Paul McCartney`s house wrong]
Who wants a giant poster of the history of Unix? The Register
This one is strictly for the hardcore fan – for the very first time, it says here, you have the chance to purchase a giant poster showing the history and development of Unix. That’s right – this 40 foot poster includes over 1,000 versions of 150 different types of Unix. Printed at 600 dpi and weighing over 10 pounds these tear resistant, weatherproof posters are surely the perfect gift for your favourite database admin.
Federal judge muzzles Craigslist-threatening AG The Register
A federal judge has ruled South Carolina’s attorney general must keep his mouth shut about threatening to prosecute Craigslist over ads for prostitution. US District Judge Weston Houck granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary judgment against Attorney General Henry McMaster on Friday to “refrain from initiating or pursuing any prosecution against craigslist or its officer” in regards to content posted on the site.
Tehran blocks access to Facebook BBC
Iran has blocked access to social networking site Facebook ahead of June’s presidential elections, Iran’s Ilna news agency and web users say. Ilna says the move is aimed at stopping supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi from using the site for his campaign. Facebook, which says it has 175m users worldwide, expressed its disappointment over the reported ban.
Two clicks and you’re out, panel rules The Star
Most people think of patents in terms of legal protection for new technological inventions. There is another form of patent, however. A business method patent is one awarded for a special technique for doing business such as improvements to a company’s accounting or sales department. Business method patents have proven very controversial in the United States, which has been home to dozens of lawsuits over their validity. By contrast, Canada has tried to craft a balance that neither embraces nor completely rejects them. That policy may be changing, however, as the Canadian Patent Appeal Board recently denied an appeal by Amazon.com over a “one-click” ordering system patent with strong language that challenged the notion that business method patents are patentable under Canadian law.
Cable firms protest CTV’s Save Local TV campaign – “There’s a lot of dough at stake” CBC
Some of Canada’s biggest cable companies are unhappy about CTV’s public campaign urging the government to allow the broadcaster to charge cable companies so-called carriage fees for the right to carry the CTV signal. Cable companies, including Rogers, Bell, Telus and Cogeco, have filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission objecting to CTV’s Save Local TV campaign. The campaign amounts to “one-sided and unbalanced coverage” of the issue of carriage fees, they say. Rogers vice-chairman Phil Lind says the campaign is “a blatant violation of respected journalistic principles.” “There’s a lot of dough at stake,” she said. “The most conservative estimate I’ve seen is $300 million a year. But it won’t end there, because conventional television is being blown up.”
Canadian Wireless market on verge of shakeup The Globe and Mail
The cellphone market that Canadian consumers have come to know over the last decade is on the edge of a shakeup that will see pricing plans reinvented by a handful of new wireless players building operations today. Within the next year, most Canadians will have the opportunity to sign up for service without the customary fees and rules that have helped drive the profits of the Big Three traditional players. The new entrants that recently won wireless spectrum licences from the government are designing plans they hope will dislodge millions of customers from their traditional providers. We are not going to irritate customers, is how David Dobbin, president of Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc., frames his firm’s model, expected to launch early next year in a number of large cities. In his mind, that means removing unique Canadian conditions, such as three-year service contracts that all too often outlast the handsets supplied.
Ontario Teachers cut stake in Canada’s biggest phone company, BCE Inc: report Reuters
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold much of its stake in Canada’s biggest phone company BCE Inc, the Globe and Mail said on Monday, citing sources in the financial community. The fund sold 30.6 million shares of BCE worth C$713 million in four large trades on Friday, through TD Securities, according to the report. Spokespersons for the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and BCE were both not immediately available for comment. Per http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/ending-an-era-teachers-unloads-bce-stake/article1151028/ The BCE shares sold Friday went for $23 each. That is well below the $42.75 takeover bid for BCE tabled by Teachers back in 2007.
City of Vancouver embraces open data, standards and source CBC
Vancouver city council has endorsed the principles of making its data open and accessible to everyone where possible, adopting open standards for that data and considering open source software when replacing existing applications. Some immediate changes likely: For example, she said, videos made at city hall, including videos of council meetings, are currently in a proprietary format that cannot be posted on YouTube. They can only be viewed on the City of Vancouver website by people who have the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. She expects that to change. As far as implementation goes, the motion suggested that Vancouver’s city manager be asked to: * Identify immediate opportunities to distribute more of its data. * Index, publish and syndicate its data to the internet using prevailing open standards, interfaces and formats. * Develop a plan to digitize and distribute archival data to the public. * Ensure that data supplied to the city by third parties such as developers, contractors and consultants are unlicensed, in a prevailing open standard format, and not copyrighted except if otherwise prevented by legal considerations. * License any software applications developed by the City of Vancouver such that they may be used by other municipalities, businesses and the public without restriction.
Private-sector privacy law debated in Manitoba Brian Bowman
The Manitoba Legislature is currently debating Bill 219 The Personal Information Protection and Identity Theft Protection Act. The Bill has been introduced as a private member`s Bill by Mavis Taillieu of the Opposition Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. It seeks to regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by organizations in the private sector and is intended to be substantially similar to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It would also establish a duty for organizations to notify individuals who may be affected when the personal information an organization has collected is lost, stolen or compromised. Such a requirement would be groundbreaking in Canada (notwithstanding Ontario`s Personal Health Information Protection Act, which has a mandatory breach notification requirement).
Telcos battling to buy Montreal Canadiens: report Reuters
Canadian telecommunications giants Quebecor Inc and BCE Inc are locked in a battle to buy National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, a leading newspaper said on Friday. Both firms declined to comment on the story.
Marc – p2pnet
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