The news is back, baby.
- The RIAA is at it again. 41 more lawsuits went out yesterday, another 90 received warning letters. Some file sharers have been deterred, Nielsen Net Ratings says there's been a 53% drop in Kazaa users since the lawsuits started in June. But some sharers are unconcerned. USA Today quotes an Indiana University student who writes "The odds of being struck by lightning are about 90 times greater [than being sued], but I still go out in the rain."
- Hewlett-Packard will announce a new hard drive based MP3 player at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and will launch its own music download service to go with it. The company also plans a line of digital TVs. HP is following in the footsteps of Del and Gateway who have also moved aggressively into consumer electronics.
- There's a security flaw in Yahoo! Instant Messenger. The buffer overflow exploit could open systems to hacks. Yahoo is working on a patch.
- Gartner says the new CAN-SPAM Act won't deter spammers. The new federal law overrides 36 state laws, most of which are more effective and offshore spammers will be unaffected.
- Meanwhile, Microsoft has issued an "unreserved apology" to a British man the company accused of spamming, showing how difficult it can be to determine the identity of spammers.
- AOL is offering a PC for $299 to new users who sign up with the service for a year or more. The 1.7 GHz Celeron based "AOL optimized" system includes a monitor and color printer, but you can do better at Fry's.
- Microsoft is planning to charge a license fee for any company shipping FAT formatted devices.
- The National Review is predicting that a speech by President Bush to commemorate the centenary of flight on December 17 will call for a return to the moon. Hoo rah!