Thursday’s Tech News Yard Sale

It’s news time.
Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle was born on this day in 1915. The home video recorder was first demonstrated at the BBC in 1963.

Today’s TechTV Ebay auction items (aka the former TechTV employees’ retirement plan and party fund) include fridge magnets, a TechTV t-shirt autographed by Kevin Rose, Sarah Lane, and Jessica Corbin, a crystal layoff cube (hey, where’s mine?), a Silicon Spin mug, TechLive and Big Thinkers caps, and a stained America’s Cup t-shirt.

  1. Comdex 2004 has been cancelled. Citing lack of interest, Medialive decided to forgo this year’s computer trade show, but in an unaccountable display of optimism they did book the Las Vegas Convention Center for November, 2005. Comdex, which was once the premiere computer trade show in the world with 200,000 attendees, shrank to 1/4th that size last year. I haven’t gone in two years, and apparently I’m not the only one. CES in January, also in Vegas, is now the show of the year.
  2. Citing Oliver Twist and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, late Tuesday. As I reported earlier, the act proposes fines and jail time for any company that produces technology that intentionally helps people violate copyrights. Hatch said that, like Fagin from Oliver Twist, companies like Kazaa were teaching children to steal. He does have a point there. Companies like Verizon and the Consumer Electronics Association are howling, though. CEA president Gary Shapiro said that if the law passes “the VCR would not be a legal product; TiVo would not be a legal product.” He does have a point there.
  3. Meanwhile a judge has temporarily blocked a Utah law that would make spyware illegal. Lawyers from WhenU obtained an injunction against Utah’s Spyware Control Act, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional regulation of interstate commerce. No court date has been set to decide on a permanent ban on the law.
  4. A little late to the game, Microsoft’s Hotmail has announced it will follow Yahoo’s lead and increase mail storage for its free customers from 2 megabytes to 250 and will allow attachments up to 10 megabytes. For $20/year you can get 2 gigs.
  5. Yahoo Messenger is blocking Trillian again, saying that third-party IM clients make it possible to spam their customers. Yahoo says it will change its protocols regularly to defeat services like Trillian. I say bye-bye Yahoo Messenger.
  6. A Russian kid who sent an obscene message to 15,000 cell phones has been convicted of spamming. He got a suspended sentence and a $100 fine. Russian authorities say this is their first successful prosecution of a spammer.
  7. A former AOL employee has been arrested for selling 92 million screen names to a spammer last spring.
  8. Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, and Earthlink are joining forces to find a caller id for email system that works. User authentication is considered by most experts the only effective way to eliminate spam. The Anti-Spam Technical Alliance issued 21 guidelines for fighting spam on Tuesday. The companies say they hope to settle on a unified authentication system by next year.
  9. Y’all don’t sound like you’re from around here. Indian call center employees are taking “accent neutralization” classes after a group of Texans complained.

Listen in tomorrow at 8:35a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.

25 Replies to “Thursday’s Tech News Yard Sale”

  1. Does anyone know if the blocking of Yahoo! Messenger affects Fire for Mac OS X? Fire does the same thing as Trillian. It’s cool.

  2. I think the reason Yahoo! Messenger is blocking Trillian is because they want to promote their new version of YM. Have you guys tried it? It’s cool!

  3. On number 2. Would pen and pencil become illegal has you can use them to copy written material that has a copyright on the works?

  4. Leo played a dirty trick on me! I was looking for “TLR” in the left hand column, he changed it back to “Blog”!… I thought he abandoned the page at first!

  5. Leo played a dirty trick on me! I was looking for “TLR” in the left hand column, he changed it back to “Blog”!… I thought he abandoned the page at first!

  6. A layoff cube, how touching. They can use it to sell on Ebay when their families dont have extra money for extras like food.
    G4 Sucks

  7. woo-hoo! first comment.
    I had a weird dream about TechTV last night. Like I went down to SF to watch a taping of TSS, and by the time I got there everyone had folded up shop and moved to LA…
    Thanks Leo for the on-going news updates–you’re one of the most concentrated & readable sources of tech news left on the ‘net.

  8. LOL. I’m not really sure how Yahoo stays in business. They are typically a a day late and a dollar short often. Their updated website design and pop-up blocker….um…can you say GOOGLE RIP OFF?!

  9. LOL. I’m not really sure how Yahoo stays in business. They are typically a a day late and a dollar short often. Their updated website design and pop-up blocker….um…can you say GOOGLE RIP OFF?!

  10. Number 9 bothers me. We Americans are showing our true colors. If you are upset at the outsourcing policy of the company, yell at the CIO or CEO not at the employee being paid to try and help you.

  11. After logging into their account, the Hotmail Coming Soon section advertises 20MB attachment capability.
    Here’s a copy/paste quote:
    Coming soon!
    MSN Hotmail Upgrade
    Summer: Virus cleaning of incoming email
    Fall: 2GB of storage for your Inbox
    Fall: Send/receive up to 20MB of attachments
    Keep checking here to learn more!

  12. oops, that’s just the paid accounts. Free account upgrades aren’t “advertised” unless Leo finds them for us. Silly me. Absolutely, thank heavens for Leo’s keeping his web community and radio efforts current!

  13. I’ve seen another copyright braking technology that is running rampant. The pen and paper. How many of use can say we have not copied something out of a magizen?

  14. I’ve seen another copyright braking technology that is running rampant. The pen and paper. How many of use can say we have not copied something out of a magizen?

  15. Nothing pisses me off more than when I call a company for customer service and I’m sent to India. I immediately hang up and call the companies corporate offices directly.

  16. HEHEHE – To quote Al Roker from the Today show on the former AOL employee
    “You’ve Got Jail”
    I have to say – I like it 🙂
    The other “kat”

  17. HEHEHE – To quote Al Roker from the Today show on the former AOL employee
    “You’ve Got Jail”
    I have to say – I like it 🙂
    The other “kat”

  18. RE: Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act.
    Can not the fine citizens of Utah see that Sen. Orrin Hatch is a dangerous loon and vote him out of office? Products which can be intentionally used to violate copyrights include: paper, cassette tapes, and CD-Rs.

  19. Leo, whats the real scoop on the FCC’s slap down by the Third Ciruit Court? Did the good guys win, lose, or just delay the inevitable? Both sides seem to rationalize their positions so well as to make it tough to come to a fair assessment of the outcome and ramifications of the courts ruling. I know you like Powell personally so I don’t mean to put you on the spot but someone’s dead wrong, with the best intentions or not. I would value your input on this.

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