Thursday News Watch

All the news that's fit to rant about

BASIC turns 40 on Saturday. Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code was created by Dartmouth math professors Thomas Kurtz and John Kemeny who hoped to make a language anyone could learn and use.

  1. Google did it. It filed today for an IPO - a stock offering expected to value the company at $2.7 billion (actually it's $2,718,281,828 or e x 109). In the filing Google revealed some of its financials for the first time. Google generated $961.9 million in revenue in fiscal 2003 and posted $105.6 million in net profit. In the quarter ending March 31, Google earned $64 million on revenues of $390 million. Sounds like a good buy.

  2. The first arrests under the CAN-SPAM act went down Wednesday. Two men were arrested and charged with huge email campaigns marketing fraudulent weight loss products. The men were released on bond of $10,000 apiece. Two others are being sought.
  3. Windows XP Service Pack 2 is being delayed until the third quarter of this year. The long awaited service pack fixes bugs and holes and greatly improves Windows security model. Microsoft wouldn't say why the update has been delayed, but there's speculation that there were still serious security flaws in the update.
  4. Apple's iTunes Music Store turned one-year-old on Wednesday. The store has sold 70 million songs - fewer than the projected 100 million this year, chiefly due to a disappointing results from the Pepsi bottle cap promotion. Only five percent of the 100 million winning caps were redeemed.
  5. Meanwhile Apple has update iTunes to version 4.5. Among many new features the software changes the encryption technology it uses to authenticate songs purchased at the iTunes Music Store. The original authentication scheme had been cracked. Within a day the new technique has been cracked as well.
  6. Meanwhile the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued 477 more alleged file swappers. Including 69 college kids in 11 states.
  7. Two officials of the FTC testified in Congress today that the spyware industry should be allowed to regulate itself. Representative Joe Barton of Texas responded, "You like this stuff? You're the only person in this country that wants spyware on their computer."