Santa Clara University

SCU in the News: February 24, 2010 to March 10, 2010

Report Overview:
Total Clips (117)
School of Law (1)
Other (116)


Headline Date Outlet Links

School of Law (1)
Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. 02/28/2010 Journal News (LoHud.com/NY's Lower Hudson) Text View Clip

Other (116)
The wrong way to pick funds 03/10/2010 Business 2.0 - Online Text View Clip
Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan 03/09/2010 MSNBC.com Text View Clip
Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors 03/09/2010 Top Tech News Text View Clip
COOLEST College Courses (PHOTOS) 03/09/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Getting Silly With Another Boston Breakers Rookie: Katherine Reynolds 03/09/2010 Bleacher Report Text View Clip
ROTC Could Make a Comeback at Stanford 03/09/2010 KNTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Stanford considers bringing ROTC back 03/09/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Stanford considers resuming ROTC 03/09/2010 San Francisco Chronicle Text
STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE. 03/09/2010 Channel 2 News at 6 PM - KTVU-TV Text
STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE. 03/09/2010 Channel 2 News at 6 PM - KTVU-TV Text
WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WHICH HAS 03/09/2010 Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV Text
WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. THEY 03/09/2010 KCRA 3 Reports at 6 PM - KCRA-TV Text
Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors 03/08/2010 CRMDaily.com Text View Clip
The mysterious mind of Anna Jarzab (A Q&A) 03/08/2010 Examiner.com Text View Clip
Who is your model for living a better life? 03/08/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Opinion: U.S. armed forces still using outdated equipment 03/07/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Film festival's real stars are its volunteers 03/07/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Pizarro: Film festival's real stars are its volunteers 03/07/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Santa Clara Basketball Player Fights Malaria in Africa 03/07/2010 KCBS-AM - Online Text View Clip
Phase Transitions of Hexadecane in Poly(alkyl methacrylate) Core−Shell Microcapsules 03/06/2010 Journal of Physical Chemistry A & B, The Text View Clip
Retail sales up 4 percent in February 03/06/2010 WJRT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Senate will form a committee to study future role of ROTC on campus 03/06/2010 Stanford Report Text View Clip
Judge In AdWords Case: 'Google Sells Ad Space, Not Keywords' 03/05/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
Rescuecom drops trademark suit against Google 03/05/2010 CNET.com - New York Bureau Text View Clip
Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. 03/05/2010 Journal News - Online Text View Clip
A Tale Of Two Great Depressions 03/04/2010 Investor's Business Daily - Online Text View Clip
Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan 03/04/2010 MSN Money (US) Text View Clip
Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan 03/04/2010 MSNBC.com Text View Clip
Cemex USA and Ford receive EPA Energy Star recognition 03/04/2010 Control Engineering Text View Clip
Groundless Threats Of Copyright Infringement: US Court Explains Damages 03/04/2010 ITProPortal.com Text View Clip
Judge In Adwords Case: 'Google Sells Ad Space Not Keywords' 03/04/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
Retail sales up 4 percent in February 03/04/2010 WJRT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/03/2010 CIO IT-Strategie für Manager Text View Clip
Apple HTC lawsuit: Apple sues HTC over patent dispute 03/03/2010 Khabrein.info Text View Clip
Apple's smartphone battle plan 03/03/2010 TelecomAsia.net Text View Clip
Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan 03/03/2010 BusinessWeek - Online Text View Clip
Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors 03/03/2010 Top Tech News Text View Clip
Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors 03/03/2010 CIO Today Text View Clip
Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot 03/03/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot 03/03/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot 03/03/2010 McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau Text View Clip
Sacramento man on trial for taking pot on airplane 03/03/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
Sacramento man on trial for taking pot on airplane 03/03/2010 Sacramento Bee, The Text
Tech: Remember when students protested over wars and civil rights? 03/03/2010 Wisconsin State Journal Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/02/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/02/2010 PC World India- Online Text View Clip
Consider This, Unmarried Couples: The "Pre" Pre-Nup 03/02/2010 KNTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Got insurance? Tuition insurance might be a right fit for Bay Area colleges in a down economy 03/02/2010 Examiner.com Text View Clip
Groundless threats of copyright infringement: US court explains damages 03/02/2010 Law.com Text View Clip
Proper Copyright Notice Bars 'Innocent Infringer' Defense, 5th Circuit Says 03/02/2010 Consumer Electronics Daily Text
Proper Copyright Notice Bars 'Innocent Infringer' Defense, 5th Circuit Says 03/02/2010 Warren's Washington Internet Daily Text
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/01/2010 Industry Standard, The Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/01/2010 Network World - Online Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft 03/01/2010 PC World - Online Text View Clip
Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft (PC World) 03/01/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
Arthur Hayes Jr., 76; Led F.D.A. in Tylenol Case 03/01/2010 New York Times Text
Arthur Hayes Jr., Who Led F.D.A. in Tylenol Case, Is Dead at 76 03/01/2010 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
Google, Microsoft Spar on Antitrust 03/01/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Readers React: 'Market big enough for both' 03/01/2010 Wall Street Journal - Online Text View Clip
Some students plan spring break in Haiti, despite warnings 03/01/2010 USA Today - Online Text View Clip
Spring Break in a Disaster Zone 03/01/2010 Inside Higher Ed Text View Clip
Using the 4 D's to find more meaning and purpose in life 03/01/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Google, Microsoft Spar on Antitrust 02/28/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Italian court shows bad cyberjudgment 02/28/2010 Journal Gazette - Online Bureau, The Text View Clip
Italian court shows bad cyberjudgment 02/28/2010 Journal Gazette, The Text
Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google execs 02/28/2010 WA Today.com.au Text View Clip
Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives 02/28/2010 Brisbane Times Text View Clip
Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives 02/28/2010 The Age Text View Clip
Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives 02/28/2010 Sydney Morning Herald - Online Text View Clip
Italy's Google verdict threatens companies 02/28/2010 Gulf News Text View Clip
READERS' LETTERS 02/28/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. 02/28/2010 Journal News - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/27/2010 Thomson Reuters - UK - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/26/2010 MSN Money (US) Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/26/2010 Computerworld Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/25/2010 Washington Post - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/25/2010 MortgageNewsDaily Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/25/2010 CNBC - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/25/2010 US Daily, The Text View Clip
Google's Italian Crime Shows Why Italy Is Lagging: Ann Woolner 02/25/2010 Bloomberg News - Online Text View Clip
Google's Italian Crime Shows Why Italy Is Lagging: Ann Woolner 02/25/2010 BusinessWeek - Online Text View Clip
Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage 02/25/2010 Network World Text View Clip
Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage 02/25/2010 PC World - Online Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/25/2010 CIO IT-Strategie für Manager Text View Clip
Students Protest Poor AT&T Cell Phone Reception 02/25/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Yelp Sued For Offering To Bury Bad Reviews In Exchange For Ads 02/25/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Washington Post - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Washington Post - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Washington Post - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Easybourse.Com Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 International Business Times Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 IT Business Net Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Yahoo! India Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Thomson Reuters - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages 02/24/2010 Yahoo! Canada Text View Clip
A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages (Reuters) 02/24/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
A tale of two Dases: Citi CEO, academic, and mortgages 02/24/2010 DNA India - Online Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 PC World - Online Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 Network World - Online Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 PC World - Online Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 Industry Standard, The Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week 02/24/2010 Industry Standard, The Text View Clip
Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week (PC World) 02/24/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
Hospice Volunteers Add Personal Touch and Keep Costs Down 02/24/2010 Nashville Medical News - Online Text View Clip
Living with Character: Los Altos family's abode boasts high historical marks 02/24/2010 Los Altos Town Crier Text View Clip
Loving Kindness: The Best that Spirituality and Religion Has to Offer? 02/24/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
San Jose District 9 candidates looking forward to June 8 election 02/24/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Industry Standard, The Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Network World - Online Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Network World Text
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Macworld Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Industry Standard, The Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Small Business IT World Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Network World Text View Clip
Exclusive: Bloggers, Protect Thyself (From Libel Lawsuits) And The Future Of Journalism 02/04/2010 mediabistro.com Text View Clip


Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. | View Clip
02/28/2010
Journal News (LoHud.com/NY's Lower Hudson)

The cases shock us: Andrea Yates drowning her five children in the bathroom of her suburban Houston home, Susan Smith letting her car roll into a South Carolina lake with her two sons strapped into their car seats.

But mothers kill their children more often than many people realize.

One study by the American Anthropological Association put the number at more than 200 cases each year in the U.S.

What is unusual is strangling an adult child, as Stacey Pagli is accused of doing Monday morning on the Manhattanville College campus.

Even experts who study the phenomenon are surprised.

"The vast majority of cases that I've seen in the universe of mothers who kill their children involve mothers killing much younger children," said Michelle Oberman, the co-author of "Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms from Susan Smith to the 'Prom Mom.' "

"I don't think I know of another case in which a mother kills a child who is an adult," she said.

The body of Pagli's 18-year-old daughter, Marissa, was found in the family's apartment in staff housing at the Purchase campus around noon. Pagli's husband, John, is the college's maintenance supervisor and Marissa Pagli was a first-year student there.

The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter, Gianna, whom the mother dropped off at day care before returning home around 9 a.m.

That is when she is accused of killing her older daughter, a volleyball player at the college, and trying to hang herself, twice. She attempted suicide in the family's apartment immediately afterward and again after she was taken to the Westchester County jail, officials said.
Mental illness feasible

"I would assume that this looks more like a standard murder case in which you have possible defenses of mental illnesses or insanity," said Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. "The fact that the mother is continuing to try to kill herself speaks to similarities with those cases."

Louis B. Schlesinger, a forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said that when women kill, it is most often within the home. He agreed that it was uncommon for a mother to be accused of strangling a teenage daughter.

"The way the killing took place is unusual and indicates something more is going on," Schlesinger said. "It's hard to kill an 18-year-old that way because the 18-year-old has the ability to fight back."

Oberman said mothers who kill their children often fit predictable patterns:

• Young mothers who kill newborns, typically after concealing their pregnancy and delivering the child alone in a bathroom.

• Mothers who neglect their children, leaving them unattended, for example, or failing to get medical help when they are ill. These cases are the most common and usually involve young mothers who have several children whom they are raising alone.

• Those who physically abuse their children, most often over time.

• Those who fail to protect their children from abusive men, usually a husband or boyfriend. Men are rarely charged in similar circumstances, Oberman noted.

• Women who purposefully kill their children as a result of postpartum mental illness, ranging from depression to psychosis to a personality disorder.

"The mothers decide, 'Okay, I'm going to kill myself and the best way to protect my children is to take them with me,' which indicates something that's clearly irrational and deranged but also at some level is maternal," Oberman said. "This case doesn't sound like that."
County's worst case

Westchester County's worst case of maternal filicide, the formal name for such killings, occurred in Port Chester in 1990.

Thirty-five-year-old Maria Amaya slashed the throats of her four children because she feared they were being corrupted by drugs and sex.

Amaya, who had suffered from depression since she was in her 20s, then tried to kill herself by drinking drain cleaner and stabbing herself in the throat. She was committed to a state psychiatric hospital in Orange County.

The more recent case in the northern suburbs took place in June 2006 when a New York City woman drove the family's minivan off a cliff at Bear Mountain State Park with her two children belted into their car seats.

Hejin Han, 35, died but her children survived. Her husband, Victor, who admitted he knew his wife was depressed, was later sentenced to three years probation for failing to protect his children.

At the beginning of this month, a Manhattan socialite checked into a midtown hotel with her 8-year-old son and gave him a fatal dose of pills, police said.

Gigi Jordan, who survived a suicide attempt, left a note expressing her love for the boy, police said.

A Canadian survey found that women and men kill young family members at comparable rates — one of few crimes where there is little difference between genders.

A 1996 study from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, indicated that 80 percent of women who murdered their children were suffering from depression, schizophrenia, mental retardation or some other serious mental illness. Only 20 percent were receiving treatment at the time of the killings, according to the study.

Records obtained by The Journal News show that Stacey Pagli's father and brother both killed themselves, leading to questions about mental illness in the family.
Tragedy magnified

Jane Aoyama-Martin, the executive director of the Pace Women's Justice Center, said that people have trouble understanding how terrible violence can occur in a family that might seem happy and healthy.

"The neighbors always say, 'They're such a lovely family. I didn't know,' (but) because what happened is so horrific you know something must have been happening in the household, but who knows what," she said. "It's distressing to me knowing that there are support services available in the community, but people don't access them or don't know about those services for a variety of reasons."

She said that shame and fear of others finding out about a family's problems sometimes prevent its members from seeking help.

Chitra Raghavan, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Marissa Pagli's killing seemed to better fit a pattern of men who kill their wives or girlfriends then themselves — typically men who are extremely depressed.

"I'd want to know whether she was depressed, if so, why, what was going on between them, if she had any period in her life where she had any dissociative or psychotic experience," Raghavan said.

"It could possibly be less to do with the daughter — and it's all very sad — and more to do with her being extremely depressed and not seeing reality," she said.

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The wrong way to pick funds | View Clip
03/10/2010
Business 2.0 - Online

(Money Magazine) -- Photographer friends tell me that if you're picking out a point-and-shoot camera you shouldn't focus much on the megapixels. That measure of a camera's resolution is hyped by manufacturers, but most cameras on the market give you all the pixels you'll need.

So when I was buying a new camera recently, I chose ... the model with more megapixels.

Find personalized rates:

Call it the data dazzle. Your mind tends to hook on to any number that helps you compare various choices, even when you know the information isn't actually helpful.

I thought of this after reading a proposal to fix the retirement system from the Squam Lake Working Group, made up of some of the nation's top economists. One of their ideas is to create a simple one-page disclosure label for the mutual funds in 401(k) plans.

You'd see data such as the fund's costs and its likely risk. What you wouldn't see: its performance record.

"We don't think it's very informative," says Dartmouth economist Kenneth French, who worked on the proposal. French is also a director of a firm that runs low-cost funds, which would tend to look good in this light. But I think he also has the evidence on his side here.

The past is past: At least when I paid for extra megapixels I got them. But performance numbers represent returns that have already been earned. Your returns are in the future, and it's notoriously hard to pick tomorrow's winners and losers. Ask anyone who bought Bill Miller's Legg Mason Capital Management Value fund in 2006 (see below) -- or sold it in 2008.

Returns push your emotional buttons: Performance stats can be worse than uninformative. They can actually de-inform, making you forget about data that matter. Although low expenses add up to a big performance edge over time, nobody ever fantasized about paying just 0.25% for a fund.

But when you see a fund that has earned 15% annualized returns over a decade -- as some emerging-markets funds have -- it's hard not to imagine how cool it would be to own a piece of that.

Managers know the game: Returns drive fund sales. That gives managers an incentive to seek short-term glory at the expense of long-term strategy.

One way for a fund to look good, says Santa Clara University finance professor Meir Statman, is to invest outside its category. A fund that focuses on large U.S. companies might add shares of small tech companies when they turn hot. That will score good relative numbers for a while but expose investors to unexpected risks.

If you just can't ignore performance numbers, make it a rule to look at them last, after you've made a short list of funds with low expenses and experienced managers. You'll be two steps ahead of the game.

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Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan | View Clip
03/09/2010
MSNBC.com

Apple's attempt to block the import of smartphones made by HTC Corp. underscores the growing prominence of the International Trade Commission in settling patent disputes over smartphones, one of the fastest-growing areas in technology. On Mar. 2, Apple (AAPL) filed a patent-infringement complaint with the ITC in Washington, alleging that HTC (2498:TT) is using Apple technology without permission. A decision in favor of Cupertino [Calif.]-based Apple may bar HTC from importing its devices into the U.S. Apple is embroiled in other scuffles at the ITC, including one with wireless handset maker Nokia (NOK). Device manufacturers view the ITC as a more efficient and aggressive arbiter of patent disputes than overstretched federal courts, which can sometimes take years to bring conflicts to resolution. Turning to a government agency with a background in global trade issues underscores the infiltration by non-U.S. companies into the market for smartphones, shipments of which are expected by Gartner (IT) to rise 46% this year. "The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases," says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University. In its complaint at the ITC, Apple says Taoyuan [Taiwan]-based HTC infringes 10 patents mainly related to the software that runs smartphones. HTC was the first electronics maker to sell a phone based on the Android operating system, developed by a Google (GOOG)-led group of companies. "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to elaborate.

"Expedited Proceedings"

Created in 1916 to regulate international trade, the ITC has in recent years emerged as a potent force in patent law, especially in the area of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones. Companies often file patent lawsuits in U.S. district courts around the same time they file complaints at the ITC. On Mar. 2, Apple also filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of 10 other patents in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. "The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a Washington-based law firm that often represents clients before the ITC. Jarvis says it takes on average about 7 to 10 months to get a hearing at the ITC, and about two years to get to trial in district courts. ITC spokeswoman Peg O'Laughlin declined to comment on the increase in cases relating to smartphones, saying related questions "are better asked of the parties involved." The ITC issues so-called "exclusion orders," instructions to U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent the import of products that infringe patents. The ITC cannot order an infringing company to pay monetary damages. Chien studied ITC rulings from 1995 to 2007 and found that in cases where it found infringement, it issued exclusion orders 100% of the time. In 2009, the ITC ordered a ban on chips made by Qualcomm (QCOM), STMicroelectronics (STM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Motorola (MOT), among others. The commission said the companies were selling chips with packaging that violated patents held by Tessera (TSRA), a San Jose-based semiconductor material company. Qualcomm and the other companies have appealed the decision. Though the ITC was conceived in part to protect U.S. manufacturers from the import of cheaper, inferior products, foreign companies are increasingly willing to use it to wage patent disputes against U.S. companies, Chien says. Espoo [Finland]-based Nokia in December complained against Apple at the ITC, alleging patent infringement. The ITC agreed to investigate the claims on Feb. 25. Apple filed a countercomplaint on Jan. 15.

Settlement Likely

Apple's complaints are the latest in a string of cases before the ITC involving smartphones. On Feb. 19, the same day the commission agreed to investigate Apple's complaint against Nokia, it also agreed to investigate a complaint against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) brought by Motorola, the Schaumburg [Ill.]-based maker of mobile phones. RIM and Apple have also been sued at the ITC by camera giant Eastman Kodak (EK), which alleged that both make phones with built-in cameras that infringe some Kodak patents. About 90% of cases brought before the ITC are resolved by a settlement, Chien says. Apple may genuinely be looking to win an import ban against HTC, she says. Still, even where an import ban is issued, cases often end in a settlement, says Ezra Gottheil, analyst at Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H. "No one will be prevented from importing their phones into the country," he says. "It's just a matter of how much money flows to which party for the rights they end up swapping." In other cases, ITC decisions may be overturned. In 2007, the ITC ordered a ban on the import of chips made by Qualcomm found to have infringed patents owned by Broadcom (BRCM). Qualcomm appealed, and a U.S. court of appeals vacated the ruling on procedural grounds in October 2008. Qualcomm ultimately resolved the dispute with an $891 million global settlement in April 2009.

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Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors | View Clip
03/09/2010
Top Tech News

The International Trade Commission, where Apple has sued HTC, is becoming the venue for technology disputes. The ITC can bar imports like HTC devices, and it acts faster than federal courts. The usual result is a payment, but Apple appears more interested in warning off competitors. Apple wants HTC and others to be clear its patents are off-limits.

Apple's patent suit against HTC, filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission, is just the latest in a string of technology-related complaints filed with the government agency. The trend shows the increasing importance of the ITC.

Apple alleges that Taiwan-based HTC infringes on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's graphical user interface, architecture and hardware. The company is seeking a permanent injunction barring HTC from importing infringing phones into the U.S. Apple is also seeking triple damages and maximum interest.

Apple sued in the U.S. District Court in Delaware concurrently with bringing the ITC action.

A Warning To Others

The complaint serves as fair warning that Apple will attack other competitors it believes are stealing its intellectual property. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

It's a message that Apple has been putting out for several years. In 2007, Jobs said, "We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of design. ... We've been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we've filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them."

Last year, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said during a conference call, "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our IP, and if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does. ... We think competition is good; it makes us all better. But we're ready to suit up and go against anyone."

Fast-Track Relief

But suing in the overwhelmed federal courts has become too slow a process for many technology companies. Apple is just the latest company to seek remedies through the ITC, a venue that has become increasingly available as Chinese and Taiwanese companies compete with Silicon Valley.

"The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Washington-based Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, told Business Week. The ITC will hear matters within seven to 10 months of the filing of a complaint, compared to approximately two years in federal court.

The ITC has a powerful tool that it wields freely. The commission can issue "exclusion orders," barring the importation of infringing products. And when it finds infringement, it issues those orders. Santa Clara University law professor Colleen Chien conducted a study of ITC exclusion orders between 1995 and 2007 and found the orders were issued 100 percent of the time when infringement was found.

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COOLEST College Courses (PHOTOS) | View Clip
03/09/2010
Huffington Post, The

First Posted: 03- 9-10 01:27 PM | Updated: 03- 9-10 01:36 PM

Did we miss a class? Want to add to our list of COOLEST college courses? Send us photos and brief descriptions!

Find a picture, click the participate button, add a title and upload your picture

Read More: College, Harry Potter, Iphone, Slidepollajax, Stanford University, Star Trek, The Midwest, The Northeast, The South, The West, College News

Why sit in that English Lit or Econ 101 or Psych class when you can take a course on the Philosophy of Star Trek? (Thanks, Georgetown U!) Or iPhone Application Programming? (Go Stanford!) Or, our personal favorite, a class on the making of maple syrup (Loving you, Alfred U.)

So welcome to HuffPost College's inaugural edition of our Triple C -- COOLEST College Courses! (And, if you're a student taking a really cool course -- or a teacher instructing what you think is a rad, innovative, eclectic class -- we'd love to hear from you.)

Class: The Joy of Garbage @ Santa Clara University

1 of 10

The class explores the technical aspects of decomposition and waste processes, focusing on two types of waste: items that rot and items that don't. It also explores the social justice issues related to environmental matters, such as the fact that landfills and recycling centers are frequently located in poorer neighborhoods and that American Indian tribes, as sovereign nations, can store nuclear waste for the U.S. government.

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Getting Silly With Another Boston Breakers Rookie: Katherine Reynolds | View Clip
03/09/2010
Bleacher Report

The following is part of a weekly series in which writer Todd Civin presents the lighter side of the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).

The league is built based on the down-to-earth nature and approachability of its athletes. "Getting Silly with the Breakers" is a fun-filled way to create a comfortable bond between the fans and the professional athletes who are the Boston Breakers.

A special thanks to Erica Hunt, the communications director for the team, as well as the players themselves for making this approach possible.

Only two days removed from her first official full team workout as a professional soccer player, I suspect that there are still a lot of things going through the mind of Boston Breakers' rookie defender, Katherine Reynolds.

A new team, a new city, new teammates. and her first training camp is an awful lot of adjusting for any of the 65 newbies attempting to make the squads of the eight Women's Professional Soccer teams.

Reynolds, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Breakers and was one of five graduates drafted from last year's Santa Clara University squad, made the trek across country this week from her home in Medina, Washington to her new home in Boston, MA.

Her latest two Facebook statuses, though brief, say it all. "Leaving Santa Clara" and "In Boston."

After making the coast to coast journey, Reynolds was kind enough to subject herself to some "Getting Silly" questions and share her inner most secrets with her new fans of Boston. Secrets which include stories about getting locked in the rest room while visiting Italy and still using her childhood baby blanket.

Sit back and enjoy Reynolds' much awaited introduction to her Boston fans as we get to know her off the field while she is busy trying to separate herself from the competition and make a name for herself on the field as well.

Todd Civin: You were one of five draft picks from your team at Santa Clara. How big was the party on campus that night?

Katherine Reynolds: It may have been big, but I wasn't there. I was in camp with the U23 national team at the Home Depot Center.

TC: Did your nerves increase as each teammate came off the board?

KR: Yes, exponentially.

TC: Who was the first person you called when you were selected?

KR: I am not sure. I was in the middle of training when I was drafted. So when I got off the field I started returning phone calls. It was probably my parents though.

TC: Your home town of Medina Washington is also the residence of Bill Gates and Ichiro, do you ever run into either at the local Dairy Queen?

KR: No, we don't have a Dairy Queen. However, his children went to my elementary school and when I was getting out of my car one day I accidentally hit him when he was getting out his car. I felt bad! In terms of Ichiro, I had no idea he lived in Medina, but that's awesome!

TC: Funniest thing you can tell us about former college teammate and current Breaker Jordan Angeli?

KR: I could tell you something funny about Jordan but if I told you the first thing I thought of she may not be too happy with me!

TC: Any plans for you and Jordan once you hit Boston?

KR: I think we are just so excited to be able to explore a new city together! This is a dream come true for both of us!

TC: You were an eight-time High School state champion in track. Were there any thoughts in pursuing that as a career instead?

No, I did not. I won my eight state championships by the end of my sophomore year but I hated track so much I decided to switch to tennis for my spring sport my junior and senior year.

TC: Greatest place you've been as a result of soccer?

KR: Probably Sweden for the Nordic Cup in 2008.

TC: Favorite thing about living in Washington State?

KR: I am surrounded by lakes and mountains. It is beautiful!

TC: Favorite all time breakfast cereal?

KR: Oatmeal

TC: Favorite chick flick of all-times?

KR: I really liked How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

TC: Tell us something that would surprise fans about you.

KR: That I still sleep with my baby blanket that can't even be washed because it is falling apart!

TC: Proudest non-soccer moment?

KR: Graduating early from Santa Clara.

TC: Best thing about University Prep where you attended high school?

KR: It is a small school and I feel like all the teachers, staff, and students have followed and supported me as I have tried to become a professional soccer player. I frequently get texts from my high school principal just to check in a see how things are going!

TC: Most inspirational person in your life?

KR: Mom and Dad

TC: Favorite non-alcoholic beverage ?

KR: Starbucks vanilla latte!

TC: Most embarrassing life moment?

KR: Getting locked in a bathroom stall while viewing The David in Florence Italy. I guess the sign said “out of order” but I couldn't read Italian.

TC: Name three things you know about Boston

KR: I guess there would be three things. 1. It snows 2. Harvard is located there and

3. They are passionate sports fans!

Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report, Sports, Then and Now, and Seamheads. He also shares his top stories on his blog The 'xoxo' of Sports. He is a supporter of Team Hoyt, the father/son marathon and triathlon team of Dick and Rick Hoyt. He encourages you to support their movement of "Yes, I Can" by visiting their Web site at www.teamhoyt.com

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ROTC Could Make a Comeback at Stanford | View Clip
03/09/2010
KNTV-TV - Online

Getty Images

It's been 40 years since anti-war sentiment sent cadets in training to become military officers marching off the campus of Stanford University. Now, there's word that they may be returning.

Stanford is looking into bringing the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to the university. School officials say a faculty committee will study the possibility of inviting the ROTC back to the campus. It was phased out in 1970 after the Vietnam War sparked student protests against the military and the draft.

The 11 Stanford students now enrolled in ROTC currently attend military classes at UC Berkeley, San Jose State and Santa Clara University.

Faculty members such as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry are pushing to bring the military leadership training programs back.

Kennedy says it's important for elite universities such as Stanford to help provide the country with military officers.

"We are in danger of seriously compromising a 200-year-old tradition in this society of the citizen soldier," Kennedy said during the presentation at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting.

The military oftentimes becomes a family tradition, Kennedy pointed out, with children of high-ranking Army officers frequently enlisting in service as well.

Another factor playing into a possible rebirth of full-fleged ROTC at Stanford is the hot topic of gays in the military. Ending the Clinton-era policy of "don't ask, don't tell" would make the military more open for all, and therefore more of an option for students looking for a professional career as a military officer.

Of course, there's no guarantee that anti-war protesters would not target Stanford again in the future. After all, the Bay Area was the site of some of the biggest protests at the beginning of the Iraq War during the George W. Bush years. President Barack Obama announced last month that the U.S. will be ending the war in Iraq by 2011 and turning focus to a new strategy in Afghanistan but that could be fodder for more heated protests if our troops become stuck in another endless war.

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Stanford considers bringing ROTC back | View Clip
03/09/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

Nearly 40 years after anti-war protests and other complaints forced ROTC programs off the Stanford campus, the military training program could be on its way back.

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A faculty committee will study the possibility of inviting the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to campus, said Andrea Goldsmith, an electrical engineering professor who chairs the Faculty Senate.

"One possibility is for Stanford to re-establish a ROTC program on the Stanford campus, but there are many other possibilities as well," she said last week at a senate meeting.

The 11 Stanford students now enrolled in ROTC now must attend their classes at other universities: UC Berkeley for Navy and Marine ROTC; San Jose State University for the Air Force; and Santa Clara University for the Army.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, both faculty members, are pushing to bring the military training programs back to Stanford.

Unless universities like Stanford help provide the country with military officers, "We are in danger of seriously compromising a 200-year-old tradition in this society of the citizen soldier," Kennedy said during the presentation at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting.

When military officers talk about "the family business," they're not entirely joking, he added.

"In 2008, the 307 general officers in the United States Army ... had 180 of their children in the service," Kennedy said.

By contrast, the 535 members of Congress had only 10 children serving in the military, he added.

The likely end to the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays and lesbians in the military also makes this a good time to look at bringing back ROTC to Stanford, he said.

The current policy "has been a serious impediment to reopening this discussion at all," Kennedy said.

Times have changed since Stanford phased out ROTC in 1970, said Lisa Lapin, a university spokeswoman.

"The military has evolved," she said. "Back then, there were serious academic questions about students being taught by military officers who weren't regular members of the faculty. There were also concerns about the draft," because students who dropped out of ROTC could be drafted immediately.

The draft is a moot point with today's all-volunteer military, and any academic questions can be negotiated, she said.

But the battle over ROTC during the 1960s and 1970s was far more than just a professional dispute over academic standards. The war in Vietnam brought a wave of anti-military feeling to Stanford, with dozens of protests against ROTC. In May 1968, an unknown arsonist torched the Navy ROTC building on campus.

By 1970, anti-war protests raged on college campuses across the country, culminating in the Kent State shootings in Ohio that May, when four student protesters were shot and killed by National Guard troops.

That was the atmosphere in 1970, when after several votes by both students and faculty, the university eliminated all academic credit for ROTC classes and stripped the military instructors of any faculty standing. By 1973, all ROTC programs were gone.

The 36 members at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting approved the ROTC study in a voice vote, with one member dissenting and two abstaining.

The committee, which will officially study Stanford's role in preparing students to become military leaders, was asked to present a variety of options "and the consequences they can be expected to have" for the university.

The report is due sometime after September.

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Stanford considers resuming ROTC
03/09/2010
San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly 40 years after anti-war protests and other complaints forced ROTC programs off the Stanford campus, the military training program could be on its way back.

A faculty committee will study the possibility of inviting the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to campus, said Andrea Goldsmith, an electrical engineering professor who chairs the Faculty Senate.

"One possibility is for Stanford to re-establish a ROTC program on the Stanford campus, but there are many other possibilities as well," she said last week at a senate meeting.

The 11 Stanford students now enrolled in ROTC now must attend their classes at other universities: UC Berkeley for Navy and Marine ROTC; San Jose State University for the Air Force; and Santa Clara University for the Army.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, both faculty members, are pushing to bring the military training programs back to Stanford.

Unless universities like Stanford help provide the country with military officers, "We are in danger of seriously compromising a 200-year-old tradition in this society of the citizen soldier," Kennedy said during the presentation at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting.

When military officers talk about "the family business," they're not entirely joking, he added.

"In 2008, the 307 general officers in the United States Army ... had 180 of their children in the service," Kennedy said.

By contrast, the 535 members of Congress had only 10 children serving in the military, he added.

The likely end to the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays and lesbians in the military also makes this a good time to look at bringing back ROTC to Stanford, he said.

The current policy "has been a serious impediment to reopening this discussion at all," Kennedy said.

Times have changed since Stanford phased out ROTC in 1970, said Lisa Lapin, a university spokeswoman.

"The military has evolved," she said. "Back then, there were serious academic questions about students being taught by military officers who weren't regular members of the faculty. There were also concerns about the draft," because students who dropped out of ROTC could be drafted immediately.

The draft is a moot point with today's all-volunteer military, and any academic questions can be negotiated, she said.

But the battle over ROTC during the 1960s and 1970s was far more than just a professional dispute over academic standards. The war in Vietnam brought a wave of anti-military feeling to Stanford, with dozens of protests against ROTC. In May 1968, an unknown arsonist torched the Navy ROTC building on campus.

By 1970, anti-war protests raged on college campuses across the country, culminating in the Kent State shootings in Ohio that May, when four student protesters were shot and killed by National Guard troops.

That was the atmosphere in 1970, when after several votes by both students and faculty, the university eliminated all academic credit for ROTC classes and stripped the military instructors of any faculty standing. By 1973, all ROTC programs were gone.

The 36 members at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting approved the ROTC study in a voice vote, with one member dissenting and two abstaining.

The committee, which will officially study Stanford's role in preparing students to become military leaders, was asked to present a variety of options "and the consequences they can be expected to have" for the university.

The report is due sometime after September.

Copyright © 2010 San Francisco Chronicle

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STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE.
03/09/2010
Channel 2 News at 6 PM - KTVU-TV

STANFORD UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN THE FIRST STEP TO POSSIBLY RESTARTING THE ON CAMPUS ROTC PROGRAM THAT IT SHUT DOWN 40 YEARS AGO. STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE. BUT SOME FACULTIES SAY SANFORD'S ABILITY TO TRAIN LEADERS SHOULD EXTEND TO THE MILITARY. ROTC PROVIDES 1/3 OF ALL THE OFFICERS IN THE THREE BRANCHES. SANFORD CONTRIBUTES TO THE MERE TRICKLE AND I THINK WE SHOULD DO BETTER. Reporter: THE FACULTY SENATE AGREED LAST WEEK TO STUDY BRINGING ROTC BACK TO THE CAMPUS. KENNEDY SAYS SINCE THE MILITARY APPEARS TO BE DROPPING THE DON'T ASK DON'T TELL POLICY, THAT WAS A MAJOR OBJECTION TO THE PROGRAM.

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STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE.
03/09/2010
Channel 2 News at 6 PM - KTVU-TV

STANFORD UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN THE FIRST STEP TO POSSIBLY RESTARTING THE ON CAMPUS ROTC PROGRAM THAT IT SHUT DOWN 40 YEARS AGO. STANFORD STUDENTS CURRENTLY IN ROTC HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE. BUT SOME FACULTIES SAY SANFORD'S ABILITY TO TRAIN LEADERS SHOULD EXTEND TO THE MILITARY. ROTC PROVIDES 1/3 OF ALL THE OFFICERS IN THE THREE BRANCHES. SANFORD CONTRIBUTES TO THE MERE TRICKLE AND I THINK WE SHOULD DO BETTER. Reporter: THE FACULTY SENATE AGREED LAST WEEK TO STUDY BRINGING ROTC BACK TO THE CAMPUS. KENNEDY SAYS SINCE THE MILITARY APPEARS TO BE DROPPING THE DON'T ASK DON'T TELL POLICY, THAT WAS A MAJOR OBJECTION TO THE PROGRAM.

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WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WHICH HAS
03/09/2010
Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV

HE'S TALKING ABOUT AN ROTC PROGRAM WHICH WAS ELIMINATED AT STANFORD 40 YEARS AGO. TONIGHT THERE'S TALK OF POSSIBLY BRINGING THAT PROGRAM BACK. SO WHY THE CHANGE OF HEART AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. KEN PRITCHETT IS LIVE AT STANFORD TO EXPLAIN. Reporter: STANFORD ENDED ITS ROTC PROGRAM IN 1970 AT THE TIME WHEN THE VIETNAM WAR WAS EXPANDING AND AT THE TIME THAT ROTC CADETS FACED IMMEDIATE DRAFTS. WELL MUCH HAS CHANGED AND WITH THE ANTICIPATED FALL OF ANOTHER POLITICAL HURDLE, SOME SAY IT'S TIME TO BRING ROTC BACK TO CAMPUS. JUNIORS ROOK AND ENNIS ARE STANFORD STUDENTS THEY ARE IN THE ROTC. BUT THEY ARE NOT STANFORD ROTC STUDENTS. WELL, I GUESS I WOULD SAY ROTC CADET WON'T ENROLL AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY. WE'RE STANFORD STUDENTS, HOWEVER THERE'S NO PROGRAM ON CAMPUS. Reporter: THEY SHARED WITH US SOME PICTURES OF THEIR ROTC TRAINING MUCH OF WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WHICH HAS ITS OWN ROTC PROGRAM. THEIR REQUIRED TRAINING FOR GRADUATION CREDITS IS AN EXTRA MISACCOMMODATION. WE HAVE TO GET UP AT 5:30 TO GET TO OUR ROTC CLASS. Reporter: THEY WOULD LIKE SANFORD TO BRING THE ROTC TO ITS CAMPUS. KENNEDY SAYS STANFORD'S OBLIGATION TO PRODUCE LEADERS SHOULD EXTEND TO THE MILITARY AS WELL AS THE TIMING MAY SOON BE RIGHT. WE ANTICIPATE THAT THE DON'T ASK DON'T TELL POLICY IS PROBABLY GOING TO GO AWAY. AND THAT'S BEEN A MAJOR OBSTACLE TO ANY UNIVERSITY BASED DISCUSSION OF THIS KIND OF MATTER FOR THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES. Reporter: SHOULD ROTC RETURN TO STANFORD IT LIKELY WILL NOT HAPPEN IN TIME FOR CADETS ENNIS AND ROOK. I'M JUST HOPING FOR DOWN THE ROAD THAT THE FUTURE OF ROTC, THAT IT CAN COME BACK TO CAMPUS SO THAT MORE PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE. Reporter: THE DEBATE IF THERE IS ONE OVER THE RETURN OF THE ROTC WILL LIKELY NOT COME UNTIL FALL, UNTIL AFTER THE FACULTY COMMITTEE RELEASES ITS FINDINGS. THAT'S NOT EXPECTED TO HAPPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER. AT SANFORD, KEN PRITCHETT, KTVU CHANNEL 2 NEWS.

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WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. THEY
03/09/2010
KCRA 3 Reports at 6 PM - KCRA-TV

WE WILL HAVE MORE ON A CANDIDATE FOR THE SHERIFF OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY GOT A COUPLE OF ENDORSEMENTS TODAY. THE POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION AND THE UNION OF FIREFIGHTERS SUPPORTED JIM COOPERS. THEY ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE OF HIS LEADERSHIP. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THIS FALL FROM GRACE AND WE NEED GOOD LEADERSHIP. WE HAVE TO CHANGE THIS AND BRING PEOPLE BACK. COOPER SAYS THAT THE COUNTY WILL NEED MORE MONEY. HE WILL GO TO WASHINGTON TO GET MORE FEDERAL MONEY FUNDING MORE FEDERAL FUNDING. IT HAS BEEN YEARS SINCE THE MILITARY HAD A PRESENCE ON THE STANFORD CAMPUS. WHY IS THIS CHANGING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS? THESE JUNIORS ARE STUDENTS AT STANFORD, IN THE ROTC BUT NOT AT STANFORD. I GUESS THAT THIS DOES THAT THIS IS THE SHARED WITH US PICTURES OF THEIR TRAINING, MUCH OF WHICH TAKES PLACE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. THEY HAVE REQUIRED TRAINING FOR CLASS CREDIT, AND THIS IS A HARDSHIP. WE HAVE THIS FIVE DAYS A WEEK, AND WE HAVE TO TRAVEL 30 MINUTES. THEY WOULD LIKE FOR STANFORD TO BRING THESE COURSES BACK TO THE CAMPUS. THE FACULTY DECIDED TO STUDY THIS ISSUE AFTER A PRESENTATION FROM A PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING HISTORIAN. THEY PROVIDE ONE-THIRD OF ALL THE OFFICERS IN THE THREE BRANCHES OF SERVICE. I THINK THAT WE SHOULD DO BETTER. THE OBLIGATION TO PRODUCE LEADERS SHOULD EXTEND TO THE MILITARY, AND THE TIMING MAY SOON BE RIGHT. WE BELIEVE THAT THE DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL POLICY IS GOING TO GO UP. AND THIS WILL BE PART OF ANY UNIVERSITY-BASED DISCUSSION OVER THE NEXT FEW DECADES. IF THEY RETURN, THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN TIME FOR THESE CADETS. I AM HOPING THAT THE FUTURE OF THE ROTC WILL COME TO CAMPUS SO THAT PEOPLE CAN PARTICIPATE. THE DEBATE OVER THE RETURN WILL START DURING THE FALL. WE HAVE DONE IT REPORTS ON THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FAMILY FIGHTING FOR CLOSURE. SO OFTEN THIS ENDS WITH PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOUSES. WHY ONE MAN IS BATTLING HIS BANK IN COURT. THIS MAY HELP OTHERS FACING FORECLOSURE.

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Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors | View Clip
03/08/2010
CRMDaily.com

The International Trade Commission, where Apple has sued HTC, is becoming the venue for technology disputes. The ITC can bar imports like HTC devices, and it acts faster than federal courts. The usual result is a payment, but Apple appears more interested in warning off competitors. Apple wants HTC and others to be clear its patents are off-limits.

Apple's patent suit against HTC, filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission, is just the latest in a string of technology-related complaints filed with the government agency. The trend shows the increasing importance of the ITC.

Apple alleges that Taiwan-based HTC infringes on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's graphical user interface, architecture and

hardware . The company is seeking a permanent injunction barring HTC from importing infringing phones into the U.S. Apple is also seeking triple damages and maximum interest.

Apple sued in the U.S. District Court in Delaware concurrently with bringing the ITC action.

A Warning To Others

The complaint serves as fair warning that Apple will attack other competitors it believes are stealing its intellectual property. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

It's a message that Apple has been putting out for several years. In 2007, Jobs said, "We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of design. ... We've been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we've filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them."

Last year, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said during a conference call, "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our IP, and if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does. ... We think competition is good; it makes us all better. But we're ready to suit up and go against anyone."

Fast-Track Relief

But suing in the overwhelmed federal courts has become too slow a process for many technology companies. Apple is just the latest company to seek remedies through the ITC, a venue that has become increasingly available as Chinese and Taiwanese companies compete with Silicon Valley.

"The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Washington-based Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, told Business Week. The ITC will hear matters within seven to 10 months of the filing of a complaint, compared to approximately two years in federal court.

The ITC has a powerful tool that it wields freely. The commission can issue "exclusion orders," barring the importation of infringing products. And when it finds infringement, it issues those orders. Santa Clara University law professor Colleen Chien conducted a study of ITC exclusion orders between 1995 and 2007 and found the orders were issued 100 percent of the time when infringement was found.

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The mysterious mind of Anna Jarzab (A Q&A) | View Clip
03/08/2010
Examiner.com

Today, Hartford Books Examiner extends a warm welcome to debut author Anna Jarzab.

A child of the suburbs (first living north of Chicago, and then, as a high school senior, moving to San Francisco's East Bay area), Anna developed her love of reading at an early age. The recipient of a double degree in English and Political Science at Santa Clara University, she also served as the Fiction Editor and Associate Editor of the university's undergraduate-run literary journal, the Santa Clara Review. Anna later earned her Master's degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where she completed All Unquiet Things, which served as her thesis project. Currently living in New York City, Anna works in the book publishing industry by day and is writing her second novel by night.

All Unquiet Things was released in January by Delacorte/Random House and has received high praise from both critics and readers. (You can read Hartford Books Examiner's full review here.) Publishers Weekly called the book “a slow-building, slow-burning mystery,” and said, “The author's confident, literary prose make for a tense and immersive thriller.” Further, Booklist raved, “The story hooks readers immediately, propelling them through a serpentine path of secrets and lies.”

From the publisher:

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School's most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn't answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can't get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She's the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton's fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she's convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton's dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn't save.

Now, Anna unravels some of the mysteries behind All Unquiet Things…

1) ALL UNQUIET THINGS was written over a period of several years and finished as your thesis project at the University of Chicago. Where did the idea come from and how did it evolve throughout time? Also, to what do you attribute your perseverance?

The book itself has changed almost entirely since I started it about seven years ago. The idea, such as it was, was basically to write a story about a bitter, angry boy (Neily). I didn't know why he was so bitter and so angry, and the first version was an exercise in melodrama. I reimagined the story (with some characters--Neily, Carly, their parents, Mr. Finch intact) as a murder mystery, and it really took off from there. I remember it as taking a long time, but being relatively easy, although now that I'm deep in Book 2 I'm not so sure. My perseverance mainly came from the fact that back then writing was what I did to relax, even when it was my thesis. I just wanted to write all day, every day. Now it's a little bit more complicated than that, because once you're obligated, writing is more likely to feel like a chore. But you still have to power through, and that's what I try to do every day.

2) In addition to being a complex mystery, AUT is also very much a character study. Did you find that one element came easier than the other or did they both develop naturally? Was there one character that spoke to you more than the others? If so, why?

Definitely the characters came easier than the mystery. Mysteries are hard! They require intricate plotting and so much balance, and it's hard to know if the solution is completely obvious or if it just feels that way because you know the outcome. Characters are sort of my thing; they're the reason I write, because I find exploring their minds and hearts so fascinating. Neily came pretty naturally to me, which probably says something about how much of me is in him. Audrey was a nice break, though, because she came later in the process. I'd been living with Neily for almost four years by the time she came into the picture, and it was pretty awesome to discover this whole new person with a whole new set of things to say. Getting to know a new character is really refreshing.

3) Part of the story is told through Neily's point of view. What challenges did writing from a guy's perspective pose? Additionally, your narrators alternate between the past and present. Why did you choose this method and how did it help you to further the story?

I honestly never thought about writing Neily as writing from a guy's perspective, or if he sounded like a guy or whatever, when I was originally writing him. Later I had to be very aware of whether or not his voice was realistic, and of course there are some people who've told me that it isn't, but most people think it is so that's good enough for me. Voice was hard for me in this novel because I wrote Neily and Audrey naturally as they came to me, which then opened me up to the criticism that they sound too similar. I'm struggling with that in my current book as well. I sort of chafe at that criticism, though, because I find that when authors try to differentiate voices they end up becoming caricatures. I'm not the sort of person who's going to write an over-the-top unique voice, because I think it's distracting. I preferred to have a consistent tone throughout the novel. Of course, if you really look at what Neily and Audrey say--both to each other and to the reader--they're dramatically different, and the content of their narration and dialogue really reveals character. That's more important to me than killing myself to make them sound super different.

The flashbacks were born of necessity, but I think they provide a narrative richness to the story. I think Carly would be incredibly unsympathetic without them. It's one thing to have, say, Neily and Audrey talking about Carly's emotional decline and another thing entirely to see it for yourself.

4) Your target demographic is teen readers. How do you go about capturing authentic voice and circumstances for your characters? Also, do you ever find yourself conflicted between writing a realistic portrayal of teen life and a more sanitized, "reader friendly" version? If so, how do you rectify the two?

I touched on this above, but I really could not be bothered to worry about what was "authentic." You drive yourself crazy with second guessing that way. I just write what comes naturally and fix what doesn't work in revisions, but I think I have a pretty good teen voice because I, um, still think of myself as being eighteen-years-old. Circumstances are a little different, because many of the characters lead untypical teen lives, BUT I still think that at the core their issues are exactly the same as any other teens, and there are teens with lives like these.

I really respect people who can write fun, compelling teen novels that are "clean", as we say in the biz. I really like reading them, too, but my authorial instinct is always to gravitate towards the hard stuff, the grittiness and the darkness. There's a lot of meat in that part of life, and a lot of complex stuff worth exploring. I write to my comfort level, and I figure that the market will sort out what is too much and what's not enough.

5) Your day job is in book marketing. How do you find this benefits you as a writer? Also, how do you balance the two?

I work day to day doing online marketing for young readers' books, which means a lot of YA, so I'm completely surrounded by it. This is good and bad, I think. I'm exposed to so much great stuff, but the behind-the-scenes of the business can be a little hairy at times and I'm trying not to get disillusioned. I'm also trying not to get burned out. As for balance, I'm still figuring that out.

6) You are currently at work on a second book. What secrets can you share about it? (We promise not to tell!)

Haha, not to tell who? This is going to be on the Internet! There's not a whole lot I can say about my second book because it's being pretty heavily revised (I like how I say that like I'm not the one doing the revising--subconscious detachment!), but it's about a teen boy who disappears and his friends who try to track him down. I wish I could tell you the title, but it doesn't have one. That's about all I can definitively say at this point!

With special thanks to Anna Jarzab for taking time out of her writing schedule to be today's distinguished guest. Readers are encouraged to visit Anna through her web-site or blog.

A related article from Hartford Books Examiner:

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (Book review)

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Who is your model for living a better life? | View Clip
03/08/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Who do you look to as a role model?

Research on observational learning has clearly demonstrated the many advantages of learning by watching others. For example, we can learn a lot about living an ethical, moral, and spiritual life by observing models. But who are these models for you?

Research over many years has shown that modeling includes four important psychological processes that include attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation.

Attention refers to the need to attend to the behavior of the model. For example, once a model is identified, one can work to attend to their behavior to experience the model in action. Retention refers to remembering the behavior of interest. One must find a way to be able to remember the behaviors that they have seen in order to incorporate them into their lives. Reproduction refers to actually engaging in similar behaviors as the model. They must mimic the target behavior. Finally, motivation refers to the desire to behave like the model in question. Someone must believe that it is worth it for them to follow the model's lead.

All of the religious and spiritual traditions employ spiritual models to help followers live a more spiritual, religious, ethical, and perhaps model life. Islam refers to Muhammad as a “beautiful exemplar” (uswa hasana, Qur'an 33:21). Hindu texts state, “What the outstanding person does, others will try to do. The standards such people create will be followed by the whole world” (Bhagavad Gita 31). Many are familiar with the popular question, “What would Jesus do?” often referred to simply as WWJD? Ancient examples such as Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or more contemporary examples such as Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, as well as unknown yet very important personal models such as family and friends help others live more spiritually, ethically, and hopefully, healthier and better lives.

When asked, most people use family members as models. This became quite clear in recent research that my collagues (Doug Oman at UC Berkeley, Carl Thoresen at Stanford, among others) and I conducted through our Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University and published recently in Mental Health, Religion & Culture and Pastoral Psychology. Many look to a parent, grandparent, sibling, other important relatives, friends, or colleagues as an inspiring model. Having contemporary persons who you know act as models has the additional advantage of being able to communicate, answer questions, and discuss principles for living directly in ways that models from the past can not. Research has found that having effective spiritual models increases life satisfaction as well as a variety of health behaviors.

So, who is your model for living a more thoughtful, satisfying, ethical, and spiritual life?

My worry is that there are too many examples in the media of not so great models. We need to nurture and highlight the great ones for ourselves, for our children, and for us all.

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Opinion: U.S. armed forces still using outdated equipment | View Clip
03/07/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

American TV screens not long ago were full of images of U.S. Marines spearheading a NATO coalition sweep in southern Afghanistan. These familiar scenes evoked memories of the Marine assault on Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, and countless similar operations in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Vietnam and other regions over the last half-century.

Inspect the photos closely, and you would see one constant: the M16 rifle. Since the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force has progressed from flying F-4 Phantoms to B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and F-22 Raptors. These combat aircraft are superior to the Vietnam-era planes by at least an order of magnitude. But the M16 has not evolved in kind.

To be sure, the M16 has been improved upon since it was first introduced almost 50 years ago. But U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan use largely the same weapon.

I was issued an M16A2 when I was mobilized and deployed to Iraq as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve's 341st Military Police Company (San Jose) in the spring of 2003. However, we should have been issued an M4, the more modern version of the M16, which active-duty MPs were given. Instead I was handed a weapon that was state of the art during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

And the M16A2 wasn't the only piece of equipment I found lacking. I remember being issued magazines for my M9 pistol that simply did not work. Ammunition fell out of the magazine because the spring was too weak. Others in my unit had the same

problem. Had I ever discharged the weapon in self-defense during my 14-month deployment there, I'm confident the first round would have fired. Subsequent rounds? I'm not sure.

Parents even mailed their sons and daughters new magazines purchased from local gun shops in California. My roommate jokes that in past wars parents mailed their children cookies and letters, not gun parts and body armor.

Toward the end of 2003, my company was transferred to a town north of Baghdad where we performed convoy escort and combat patrol missions in the volatile "Sunni triangle." Three armored Humvees were required for each squad. But initially, our company lacked enough armored Humvees for each squad to have its full complement.

Before missions, we flipped a coin to decide who would get the "thin-skinned" vehicle. I told a friend back home about this.

"Isn't that dangerous?" he asked. "How safe are you then?"

"About as safe as you would be driving around Iraq in your Ford," I said.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said, "You go to war with the army you have — not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

I went to war with the army we had at the time. But since then, vast improvements have been made. Soldiers and Marines now patrol in vehicles much better suited to deflect improvised explosive devices and other threats that I encountered six years ago.

Have the improvements gone far enough? The young enlisted troops doing the hard work of our nation don't generally have a voice that's heard in the editorial pages of our nation's newspapers. So we don't know for sure.

Nothing would make me prouder than to learn that U.S. troops now have the best equipment we can possibly give them. It's the least we can do to help them accomplish their missions with a modicum of safety. But I can't help but worry as I watch the news footage of the young warriors going into battle in Marjah today, clutching their M16s.

MICHAEL LYNCH, who attended Santa Clara University, spent 14 months in Iraq with the Army Reserve"s 341st Military Police Company. He wrote this article for this newspaper.

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Pizarro: Film festival's real stars are its volunteers | View Clip
03/07/2010
SiliconValley.com

It's always a treat to run into a famous face at Cinequest, but the real stars of the film festival are its legions of volunteers.

"They really are the core spirit of Cinequest," said festival cofounder Halfdan Hussey.

There are 650 volunteers this year, and they're everywhere you look: greeting people in lines, introducing movies, handing out surveys and escorting celebrities.

Eric von Forstmeyer has been volunteering at the festival for eight years. He said that Hussey sometimes introduces him as "the godsend" because of his willingness to jump in wherever he's needed.

"The best thing a human being can do is to give back," von Forstmeyer said. "I came to serve and to help make it a successful film festival."

Hussey notes that one of the festival's most ardent volunteers is its president, co-founder Kathleen Powell. She took a year off from her tech job to devote to the festival.

And when Cinequest ends today, the volunteers won't be done. They'll still have to clean up venues and pack away office supplies, to get ready for another year.

HELLO, SULLY! Now that he's retired, hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger has more time for the speaking circuit. And Silicon Valley is pretty lucky to be one of his stops this year, when he leads off the 2010-11 Foothill College Celebrity Forum speaker series in October.

His isn't the only big name that'll be gracing

the stage at Cupertino's Flint Center, though.

Other speakers include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander, religion scholar Reza Aslan and paleontologist Louise Leakey.

You can get more details at www.celebrityforum.net later this week.

EIGHTY AND FABULOUS: The Santa Clara University Catala Club is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a fundraising dinner March 27.

The evening at the Benson Center on campus includes cocktails, dinner and live entertainment (including an auction that organizers hope is very lively). Tickets are $100 per person, with proceeds benefiting the club's endowed scholarship funds.

For details, contact Sue Davison at shdavison@sbcglobal.net or 650-261-1833.

ART OPENINGS: The Art Museum of Los Gatos has a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. today for "Etch, Sketch, Stroke," an exhibition of works from the museum's collection.

And there should be a good crowd Monday evening at the Mexican Heritage Plaza for the opening reception of its new exhibition on the braceros program, which brought Mexican labor to California.

"Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964," opened Feb. 20 and will be on display through May 2.

REAL PIONEER: The Silicon Valley Education Foundation will be honoring former Symantec CEO John W. Thompson at its sixth annual Pioneers & Purpose dinner, which is being held June 7 at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel.

Get more details at www.svefoundation.org.

VERY HAPPY HOUR: The best news this week for cocktail fans is Yelp Drinks Silicon Valley, a weeklong promotion at 21 bars and restaurants stretching from Palo Alto to Santana Row.

Each venue will offer three signature drinks at 50 percent off, starting Monday and ending March 14.

Go to www.yelp.com/events/san-jose-yelp-drinks-week to find out which watering holes are participating.

CAR TROUBLE? Steve Dini said he was struck recently by the irony of Toyota's longtime slogan, "Moving Forward!"

"Wow, that's for sure, isn't it?" Dini says. Maybe Toyota should move on.

DECOMPRESSING: I'll have a wrap-up of Cinequest in Monday's paper, and then I'll take a couple days off to recover from covering the film festival for two weeks. My next regular column will run Thursday.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Pizarro: Film festival's real stars are its volunteers | View Clip
03/07/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Mercury News

It's always a treat to run into a famous face at Cinequest, but the real stars of the film festival are its legions of volunteers.

"They really are the core spirit of Cinequest," said festival cofounder Halfdan Hussey.

There are 650 volunteers this year, and they're everywhere you look: greeting people in lines, introducing movies, handing out surveys and escorting celebrities.

Eric von Forstmeyer has been volunteering at the festival for eight years. He said that Hussey sometimes introduces him as "the godsend" because of his willingness to jump in wherever he's needed.

"The best thing a human being can do is to give back," von Forstmeyer said. "I came to serve and to help make it a successful film festival."

Hussey notes that one of the festival's most ardent volunteers is its president, co-founder Kathleen Powell. She took a year off from her tech job to devote to the festival.

And when Cinequest ends today, the volunteers won't be done. They'll still have to clean up venues and pack away office supplies, to get ready for another year.

HELLO, SULLY! Now that he's retired, hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger has more time for the speaking circuit. And Silicon Valley is pretty lucky to be one of his stops this year, when he leads off the 2010-11 Foothill College Celebrity Forum speaker series in October.

His isn't the only big name that'll be gracing

the stage at Cupertino's Flint Center, though.

Other speakers include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander, religion scholar Reza Aslan and paleontologist Louise Leakey.

You can get more details at www.celebrityforum.net later this week.

EIGHTY AND FABULOUS: The Santa Clara University Catala Club is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a fundraising dinner March 27.

The evening at the Benson Center on campus includes cocktails, dinner and live entertainment (including an auction that organizers hope is very lively). Tickets are $100 per person, with proceeds benefiting the club's endowed scholarship funds.

For details, contact Sue Davison at shdavison@sbcglobal.net or 650-261-1833.

ART OPENINGS: The Art Museum of Los Gatos has a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. today for "Etch, Sketch, Stroke," an exhibition of works from the museum's collection.

And there should be a good crowd Monday evening at the Mexican Heritage Plaza for the opening reception of its new exhibition on the braceros program, which brought Mexican labor to California.

"Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964," opened Feb. 20 and will be on display through May 2.

REAL PIONEER: The Silicon Valley Education Foundation will be honoring former Symantec CEO John W. Thompson at its sixth annual Pioneers & Purpose dinner, which is being held June 7 at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel.

Get more details at www.svefoundation.org.

VERY HAPPY HOUR: The best news this week for cocktail fans is Yelp Drinks Silicon Valley, a weeklong promotion at 21 bars and restaurants stretching from Palo Alto to Santana Row.

Each venue will offer three signature drinks at 50 percent off, starting Monday and ending March 14.

Go to www.yelp.com/events/san-jose-yelp-drinks-week to find out which watering holes are participating.

CAR TROUBLE? Steve Dini said he was struck recently by the irony of Toyota's longtime slogan, "Moving Forward!"

"Wow, that's for sure, isn't it?" Dini says. Maybe Toyota should move on.

DECOMPRESSING: I'll have a wrap-up of Cinequest in Monday's paper, and then I'll take a couple days off to recover from covering the film festival for two weeks. My next regular column will run Thursday.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Santa Clara Basketball Player Fights Malaria in Africa | View Clip
03/07/2010
KCBS-AM - Online

A Bay Area college basketball player has a new campaign aimed at wiping out malaria in third world countries that is gathering momentum.

Troy Alexander plays guard on the Santa Clara University men's basketball team. When he's not pitching bounce passes to teammates, he's busy raising funds for a special program called Nothing but Nets.

The money goes to purchase mosquito nets that are then shipped to villages in Africa to help keep kids safe from the bites of malaria-infected bugs at night.

"A child dies every 30 seconds from malaria in Africa," Alexander said. "One of the big goals of Nothing but Nets' campaign is to actually end malaria-related deaths by 2015."

Alexander says he got involved after reading an article about Nothing but Nets from Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly a few years back. Last month he decided to jump on the foundation's website and formed his own funding team.

He has now raised about $3,000 and is working towards a $5,000 goal.

(ewi)

Copyright 2010, KCBS. All Rights Reserved.

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Phase Transitions of Hexadecane in Poly(alkyl methacrylate) Core−Shell Microcapsules | View Clip
03/06/2010
Journal of Physical Chemistry A & B, The

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Center for Nanostructures, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California 95053, and Life Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720

J. Phys. Chem. B, Article ASAP

DOI: 10.1021/jp9080355

Publication Date (Web): March 5, 2010

Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tadalsteinsson@scu.edu., †

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Santa Clara University.

, ‡

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

, §

Center for Nanostructures, Santa Clara University.

Abstract

Microcapsules containing subfemtoliter volumes of n-hexadecane (HD) within a 4−40 nm thick shell of poly(alkyl methacrylates) were prepared. The size of the HD drop was varied between 50 and 140 nm. The alkyl substituents on the methacrylate monomer were varied to alter the surface tension between the HD and the polymer shell in order to investigate the effects of surface tension on the freezing point of the HD. The size dependence of the supercooling as predicted by the G−T equation was not observed in our systems. An effect on the magnitude of supercooling with variation in the side chains was observed, where freezing the HD in capsules with bulkier side chains requires a greater magnitude of supercooling. This is in agreement with the increased hydrophobic character of the polymers and also correlates with the decrease in glass transition temperature of the polymer. We also observed aging of the capsules, which could be accelerated by heating.

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Retail sales up 4 percent in February | View Clip
03/06/2010
WJRT-TV - Online

REDWOOD CITY, CA (KGO) -- Major retail chains say they saw sales rise 4 percent in February, despite blizzards in the East and Midwest. Instead of reaching for their credit cards, though, consumers have shifted to pay by cash or by debit cards. Experts say the recession has taught them to stop accumulating debt.

Consumers are getting comfortable with shopping again. Retail sales rose 4 percent nationally last month.

San Francisco-based The Gap beat projections with an increase of 3 percent, while its Old Navy stores saw a 6 percent jump.

Economics professor Mario Belotti at Santa Clara University says consumer spending could fluctuate in future months, but for now, one thing is clear.

"Consumers now are becoming more confident in the economy, more optimistic," he said.

It appears the recession, layoffs and concerns about job security have consumers avoiding credit cards.

Peter Pham is CEO of Billshrink.com, a Redwood City based website that helps consumers with saving money, finding the right credit card and reducing their bills.

"They're spending smarter. I think the spending is going to go up, but they're being a little bit smarter, not trying to go into debt. Federal Reserve numbers over the last 14 months, consumers have spent down $100 billion in debt, so they're paying off their debt right now," said.

Federal Reserve data indicates consumer debt was approaching $1 trillion at the end of March last year, but it fell throughout 2009, hitting $866 billion by the end of December.

That brought consumer debt down to 2006 levels and consumer behavior has changed.

"Not so much on credit cards, mainly cash. I try to keep it current," Paul Ferro said.

"We always use credit cards. It's just a way of managing kind of where we spend our money. We just pay it off every month," Stephanie Roodhouse said.

Others just steer away from credit cards altogether.

"I don't use credit cards. It's kind of not a good idea to shop," Hilda Couvidat said.

"The next test for consumers will come just in a few weeks. As income tax refunds trickle in, will consumers go shopping again, will they save it, or will they pay down their debt?

(Copyright ©2010 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Senate will form a committee to study future role of ROTC on campus | View Clip
03/06/2010
Stanford Report

With the expected repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, it's time to reconsider Stanford's relationship with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, said David Kennedy, history professor emeritus.

David M. Kennedy, Professor of History, emeritus, spoke before the Faculty Senate on Thursday, March 4, 2010. Kennedy spoke in support of bringing ROTC back to the Stanford campus.

The Faculty Senate agreed Thursday to create a committee to study Stanford's role in preparing students for leadership roles in the military, including the potential benefits of re-establishing a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program on campus.

"The committee should explore the logistical, financial and pedagogical implications of any such relationship for Stanford and its wider mission, and report back to the senate detailing a range of options the university might pursue and the consequences they can be expected to have," the motion said.

The senate approved the motion on a voice vote. One faculty member voted "no" and two abstained.

Senate Chair Andrea Goldsmith, associate professor of electrical engineering, said the committee would report back to the senate during the next academic year.

"One possibility is for Stanford to re-establish an ROTC program on the Stanford campus, but there are many other possibilities as well," she said at the start of the meeting, the final Faculty Senate gathering of winter quarter.

Stanford phased out its ROTC programs after the Faculty Senate terminated credit for ROTC courses in 1970. The Air Force ended its Stanford program in 1971; the Army and Navy followed suit in 1973, the same year the United States discontinued the draft and established an all-volunteer military force.

The Thursday vote followed a joint presentation by David Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Kennedy and Perry said they assume the Pentagon policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces will soon be repealed.

"It is our assumption that the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, which has been a serious impediment to reopening this discussion at all, will probably go away within the next year or two, and the field will be open to have a reasonable discussion on this," Kennedy said.

He said Stanford phased out its ROTC programs amid concerns about academic standards (courses were taught by military instructors) and a clause in student ROTC contracts that said students could be drafted immediately if they quit the program. At the time, the ROTC programs also were an issue for faculty and students who opposed the Vietnam War.

L.A. Cicero

Professor William Perry told the Faculty Senate that when he was Secretary of Defense in 1994, he was surrounded by top military officials who were ROTC graduates.

During negotiations with Stanford in 1970, the military agreed to eliminate academic credits for ROTC courses, but said removing the punitive clause was beyond their control, Kennedy said.

"The academic dimensions of this subject were negotiable 40 years ago; and there's no reason to think they won't be negotiable again today," he told the senate.

Kennedy said the "punitive clause" once so troubling to faculty is a moot point in the era of the all-volunteer service.

"And to bring the discussion up to the present day, it's our perception – and it's shared by others – that our current policy and practice compelling the one dozen ROTC students at Stanford to go to Berkeley or Santa Clara or San Jose – depending on their service branch – for their ROTC training imposes a pretty unreasonable burden on them that we probably ought to think seriously of doing away with, by bringing that instruction back onto this campus in some form," Kennedy said.

Stanford has cross-enrollment agreements – established between 1975 and 1981 – with three nearby universities that have ROTC programs. Under the pacts, Stanford students get military training while working on their degrees at Stanford.

Students enrolled in Navy and Marine Corps ROTC take classes at the University of California-Berkeley; Air Force ROTC classes are held at San Jose State University. The Army ROTC program is based at Santa Clara University.

Stanford began hosting classes by Santa Clara University's Army ROTC program in 1997. Currently, six Army ROTC classes for freshmen and sophomores are held on the Stanford campus. The classes focus on leadership, including "Leadership and Personal Development" and "Leadership in Changing Environments."

Kennedy also expressed concern that there is a growing gulf between the military and civil society.

"We are in danger of seriously compromising a 200-year-old tradition in this society of the citizen soldier," he said.

He said there is evidence that a "military caste" is emerging in the United States.

"In 2008, the 307 general officers in the United States Army – rank of brigadier and above – had 180 of their children in the service," he said. "The officers I talked with referred to the military – somewhat jokingly, somewhat not – as the 'family business.'"

By comparison, Kennedy noted, the 535 elected members of the U.S. Congress had 10 of their children in the service that same year.

Top military officials with ROTC credentials

Perry said that when he became Secretary of Defense in 1994, he was surrounded by top military officials who were ROTC graduates, including the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of Staff of the Army.

"When I became secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was Colin Powell – ROTC graduate," Perry said. "A year later, he was succeeded by General John Shalikashvili, another ROTC graduate; the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gordon Sullivan, was another ROTC graduate. And I found all of these men to be not only well educated and highly capable, but most importantly, I found they had an appropriately balanced view of the role between civilian and military, and fully accepted the American tradition and the American laws of political control of the military."

Perry praised two of his former students – twin sisters enrolled in Air Force ROTC – as bright and dedicated individuals. He traveled with them to their ROTC classes at San Jose State, and attended their commissioning, where he met their proud parents. He said it was a shame the twins had been unable to take part in campus activities because of the time spent commuting off campus for ROTC training.

Perry said he also was inspired by the examples set by two young veterans, both of whom served four years in the Marines and did three tours of Iraq: his grandson, a student at San Jose State, and one of his Stanford students. He said they represent "the best American tradition of citizen soldiers."

Perry said his grandson received an "instant standing ovation" when he visited Perry's class – in uniform – while on leave after his first tour of Iraq. Both found the student response heartwarming, he said.

Perry said bringing ROTC back to Stanford would clearly be the best thing for the ROTC students.

"Beyond that, I think it would be best for all other students on campus to have these ROTC students participating in campus activities," he said. "Finally, I believe it's clearly best for our democracy to have, among its military officers, citizens who have a liberal education at the best universities in the country, including Stanford."

In a question-and-answer session following the presentation, Persis Drell, director of the SLAC National Accelerator and a professor of particle physics and astrophysics, said she wanted to address the benefits of military training to the execution of large-scale projects funded by government.

"I'd like to speak from the perspective of 'Big Science,' where we find in the execution of our billion-dollar-class projects that the class of individuals who come from outstanding universities with military training, who have chosen not to pursue a career in the military but then come back into civilian life, have a suite of tools that is actually incredibly useful, because it's combination of the intellectual leadership and the leadership training that is very valuable. To have Stanford contributing to that suite of talents is very, very good thing."

Drell said that for the foreseeable future, the United States will need a military.

"We want them to be as educated and as enlightened as possible," she said. "What better place than Stanford?"

Presentation on federally funded research

The senate also heard a presentation from Arthur Bienenstock, special assistant to President John Hennessy for federal research policy, who discussed a variety of issues, including federal research budgets, export controls, indirect cost reimbursements and increased regulation of federally funded research.

Bienenstock, who also is a professor at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and a professor of materials science and engineering and of applied physics, said that the Obama administration appears to be on track to double the budgets of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Institute of Science and Technology over the next 10 years – a promise Barack Obama made during his campaign for president.

"My perception is that the Obama administration has abandoned its intention to double the National Institutes of Health budget over 10 years, and that the university should be planning for that," Bienenstock warned.

He also discussed the burden increasing federal regulations have placed on faculty.

"About two years ago, the Federal Demonstration Partnership did a survey of principal investigators and found that PIs were spending 42 percent of their federally funded research time on administration," he said. "That's up from 18 percent 20 years ago."

In addition, the senate heard a report on the 2008-09 accomplishments of the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy, presented by Philippe Buc, chair of the committee and a professor of history.

The full minutes of the March 4 meeting, including the question-and-answer sessions that followed the presentations, will be available on the Faculty Senate website next week.

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Judge In AdWords Case: 'Google Sells Ad Space, Not Keywords' | View Clip
03/05/2010
MediaPost.com

Home > Online Media Daily > Friday, Mar 5, 2010

A federal judge in California has dismissed portions of a lawsuit by California entrepreneur Daniel Jurin against Google over the company's AdWords program. But the decision isn't a complete victory for Google because it keeps alive a key part of the lawsuit.

Jurin, who sells StyroTrim building material, brought suit last year for trademark infringement, false advertising, interference with contractual relations, and other counts. The allegations all stemmed from Google's AdWords program, which allows trademarked terms to trigger pay-per-click ads.

In a ruling issued this week, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England in the eastern district of California dismissed a host of Jurin's claims, including allegations that Google confused consumers about who produced StyroTrim by returning links to a variety of companies in response to a search on the term. "Even if one accepts as true the allegation that a 'Sponsored link' might confuse a consumer, it is hardly likely that with several different sponsored links appearing on a page that a consumer might believe each one is the true 'producer' or 'origin' of the Styrotrim product," he wrote.

The decision also has some broad language stating that Google sells ad space, not keywords. Google "does not provide the content of the 'Sponsored Link' advertisements," England wrote. "It provides a space and a service and thereafter charges for its service."

England also ordered Jurin to pay Google $6,000 in attorneys' fees for having filed a virtually identical case last June and then withdrawing it in July. "Plaintiff may not voluntarily dismiss his original suit only to further harass defendant with renewed allegations of the same claims," he wrote.

England has not yet dismissed the trademark infringement claims, but those, too, seem likely to fail, says Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. "The writing is on the wall for this lawsuit," Goldman says in a

blog post about the case.

Google is currently facing 10 trademark infringement cases stemming from AdWords. No court has yet definitively ruled on whether using a brand name to trigger a search ads infringes trademark. The one case to go to trial, a lawsuit by insurance company Geico against Google, resulted in a victory for Google in 2004. In that case, a judge in Alexandria, Va. ruled that Geico had not proven that consumers were confused when they typed "Geico" into a search box and were served with ads for other insurance companies.

2 people recommend this article.

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Rescuecom drops trademark suit against Google | View Clip
03/05/2010
CNET.com - New York Bureau

PC support company Rescuecom has dropped a trademark lawsuit against Google, giving it time to defend itself against a similar suit filed by Best Buy.

Rescuecom declared "victory" in a press release Friday, although it wasn't clear if anything had changed since Rescuecom was able to win an appeal of a 2006 decision dismissing its lawsuit over Google's keyword-based ad system. Rescuecom objected to the fact that competitors could buy ads that would appear when Google users searched for "Rescuecom," and was able to convince a federal court last year to rehear the case after it was initially dismissed.

But it will go no further. Rescuecom said it dropped the lawsuit after getting what it wanted out of the process, but the fact that it is currently involved in a dispute against Best Buy--where it is essentially arguing the opposite side of its dispute against Google--might have played into its decision.

Best Buy sued Rescuecom last year for using the term "geek squad" in keyword advertising, which Rescuecom has defended as an appropriate use of another company's trademarks in "comparative advertising." Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University who follows online trademark disputes closely, was quoted earlier this year by Online Media Daily as calling Rescuecom's position with Best Buy as "intrinsically inconsistent" with its position regarding Google, where it argued that Google did not have the right to sell its trademark to competitors.

Google released a statement on the dismissal. "As we've consistently maintained, Google's trademark policy strikes the proper balance between trademark owners' interests and consumer choice, and now even Rescuecom concedes that it's legally entitled to use a competitor's trademark as a keyword trigger. We're pleased to see Rescuecom finally affirm our position by dismissing their claims."

Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Internet search, including Google, Yahoo, and portals, as well as the evolution of mobile computing. He has written about traditional PC companies, chip manufacturers, and mobile computers, spending the last three years covering Apple. .

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Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. | View Clip
03/05/2010
Journal News - Online

Noreen O'Donnell • nodonnel@lohud.com • February 28, 2010

The cases shock us: Andrea Yates drowning her five children in the bathroom of her suburban Houston home, Susan Smith letting her car roll into a South Carolina lake with her two sons strapped into their car seats.

But mothers kill their children more often than many people realize.

One study by the American Anthropological Association put the number at more than 200 cases each year in the U.S.

What is unusual is strangling an adult child, as Stacey Pagli is accused of doing Monday morning on the Manhattanville College campus.

Even experts who study the phenomenon are surprised.

"The vast majority of cases that I've seen in the universe of mothers who kill their children involve mothers killing much younger children," said Michelle Oberman, the co-author of "Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms from Susan Smith to the 'Prom Mom.' "

"I don't think I know of another case in which a mother kills a child who is an adult," she said.

The body of Pagli's 18-year-old daughter, Marissa, was found in the family's apartment in staff housing at the Purchase campus around noon. Pagli's husband, John, is the college's maintenance supervisor and Marissa Pagli was a first-year student there.

The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter, Gianna, whom the mother dropped off at day care before returning home around 9 a.m.

That is when she is accused of killing her older daughter, a volleyball player at the college, and trying to hang herself, twice. She attempted suicide in the family's apartment immediately afterward and again after she was taken to the Westchester County jail, officials said.

Mental illness feasible

"I would assume that this looks more like a standard murder case in which you have possible defenses of mental illnesses or insanity," said Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. "The fact that the mother is continuing to try to kill herself speaks to similarities with those cases."

Louis B. Schlesinger, a forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said that when women kill, it is most often within the home. He agreed that it was uncommon for a mother to be accused of strangling a teenage daughter.

"The way the killing took place is unusual and indicates something more is going on," Schlesinger said. "It's hard to kill an 18-year-old that way because the 18-year-old has the ability to fight back."

Oberman said mothers who kill their children often fit predictable patterns:

• Young mothers who kill newborns, typically after concealing their pregnancy and delivering the child alone in a bathroom.

• Mothers who neglect their children, leaving them unattended, for example, or failing to get medical help when they are ill. These cases are the most common and usually involve young mothers who have several children whom they are raising alone.

• Those who physically abuse their children, most often over time.

• Those who fail to protect their children from abusive men, usually a husband or boyfriend. Men are rarely charged in similar circumstances, Oberman noted.

• Women who purposefully kill their children as a result of postpartum mental illness, ranging from depression to psychosis to a personality disorder.

"The mothers decide, 'Okay, I'm going to kill myself and the best way to protect my children is to take them with me,' which indicates something that's clearly irrational and deranged but also at some level is maternal," Oberman said. "This case doesn't sound like that."

County's worst case

Westchester County's worst case of maternal filicide, the formal name for such killings, occurred in Port Chester in 1990.

Thirty-five-year-old Maria Amaya slashed the throats of her four children because she feared they were being corrupted by drugs and sex.

Amaya, who had suffered from depression since she was in her 20s, then tried to kill herself by drinking drain cleaner and stabbing herself in the throat. She was committed to a state psychiatric hospital in Orange County.

The more recent case in the northern suburbs took place in June 2006 when a New York City woman drove the family's minivan off a cliff at Bear Mountain State Park with her two children belted into their car seats.

Hejin Han, 35, died but her children survived. Her husband, Victor, who admitted he knew his wife was depressed, was later sentenced to three years probation for failing to protect his children.

At the beginning of this month, a Manhattan socialite checked into a midtown hotel with her 8-year-old son and gave him a fatal dose of pills, police said.

Gigi Jordan, who survived a suicide attempt, left a note expressing her love for the boy, police said.

A Canadian survey found that women and men kill young family members at comparable rates — one of few crimes where there is little difference between genders.

A 1996 study from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, indicated that 80 percent of women who murdered their children were suffering from depression, schizophrenia, mental retardation or some other serious mental illness. Only 20 percent were receiving treatment at the time of the killings, according to the study.

Records obtained by The Journal News show that Stacey Pagli's father and brother both killed themselves, leading to questions about mental illness in the family.

Tragedy magnified

Jane Aoyama-Martin, the executive director of the Pace Women's Justice Center, said that people have trouble understanding how terrible violence can occur in a family that might seem happy and healthy.

"The neighbors always say, 'They're such a lovely family. I didn't know,' (but) because what happened is so horrific you know something must have been happening in the household, but who knows what," she said. "It's distressing to me knowing that there are support services available in the community, but people don't access them or don't know about those services for a variety of reasons."

She said that shame and fear of others finding out about a family's problems sometimes prevent its members from seeking help.

Chitra Raghavan, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Marissa Pagli's killing seemed to better fit a pattern of men who kill their wives or girlfriends then themselves — typically men who are extremely depressed.

"I'd want to know whether she was depressed, if so, why, what was going on between them, if she had any period in her life where she had any dissociative or psychotic experience," Raghavan said.

"It could possibly be less to do with the daughter — and it's all very sad — and more to do with her being extremely depressed and not seeing reality," she said.

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A Tale Of Two Great Depressions | View Clip
03/04/2010
Investor's Business Daily - Online

By Posted 06:51 PM ET

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the winner of the straw poll was Congressman Ron Paul. One of his best-known positions is support for a return to the gold standard. David Frum, a former speech writer for George W. Bush and a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, responded by blaming the gold standard for the Great Depression.

"Threatened with the exhaustion of its gold supply," Frum said, "the government felt it had no choice: It had to close the budget deficit. So, in the throes of a severe downturn, the U.S. government did exactly the opposite of what economists would otherwise advise: It cut spending and raised taxes — capsizing the economy even deeper into depression."

But as the table below shows, that version of the history of the Great Depression is entirely fictional.

During every year of Hoover's administration, from 1929 to 1932, federal expenditure increased.

By 1932, expenditure had gone up 50% measured in dollars, almost doubled measured in purchasing power, tripled measured as a fraction of national income.

If a gold standard makes it impossible to increase federal spending in response to a downturn, Herbert Hoover didn't get the message. If stimulus is the solution to high unemployment, the Great Depression should have ended almost before it began.

This raises an obvious question: What would have happened if Hoover had done what the urban legend view of history claims he did? For a possible answer, it is worth looking back a decade at a different Great Depression.

From 1920 to 1921, the unemployment rate increased by 6.5 percentage points and prices fell by more than 10%. Seen without the benefit of hindsight, it was obviously the beginning of a depression. Comparing the increase in unemployment and decrease in prices from 1920 to 1921 to the almost identical figures for 1930 to 1931, it was going to be a Great Depression.

President Harding acted as President Hoover is supposed to have acted. By 1923, federal expenditure had been reduced to about half its 1920 level. The table shows the result. The unemployment rate that peaked at 11.7% in 1921 had fallen, by 1923, to 2.4%. One year of high unemployment instead of 11 years under Hoover and then Roosevelt.

It was the Great Depression that didn't happen.

Friedman is an economist and law professor at Santa Clara University and an author. His most recent book is "Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World."

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Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan | View Clip
03/04/2010
MSN Money (US)

Apple's attempt to block the import of smartphones made by HTC Corp. underscores the growing prominence of the International Trade Commission in settling patent disputes over smartphones, one of the fastest-growing areas in technology. On Mar. 2, Apple (AAPL) filed a patent-infringement complaint with the ITC in Washington, alleging that HTC (2498:TT) is using Apple technology without permission. A decision in favor of Cupertino [Calif.]-based Apple may bar HTC from importing its devices into the U.S. Apple is embroiled in other scuffles at the ITC, including one with wireless handset maker Nokia (NOK). Device manufacturers view the ITC as a more efficient and aggressive arbiter of patent disputes than overstretched federal courts, which can sometimes take years to bring conflicts to resolution. Turning to a government agency with a background in global trade issues underscores the infiltration by non-U.S. companies into the market for smartphones, shipments of which are expected by Gartner (IT) to rise 46% this year. "The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases," says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University. In its complaint at the ITC, Apple says Taoyuan [Taiwan]-based HTC infringes 10 patents mainly related to the software that runs smartphones. HTC was the first electronics maker to sell a phone based on the Android operating system, developed by a Google (GOOG)-led group of companies. "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to elaborate.

"Expedited Proceedings"

Created in 1916 to regulate international trade, the ITC has in recent years emerged as a potent force in patent law, especially in the area of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones. Companies often file patent lawsuits in U.S. district courts around the same time they file complaints at the ITC. On Mar. 2, Apple also filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of 10 other patents in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. "The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a Washington-based law firm that often represents clients before the ITC. Jarvis says it takes on average about 7 to 10 months to get a hearing at the ITC, and about two years to get to trial in district courts. ITC spokeswoman Peg O'Laughlin declined to comment on the increase in cases relating to smartphones, saying related questions "are better asked of the parties involved." The ITC issues so-called "exclusion orders," instructions to U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent the import of products that infringe patents. The ITC cannot order an infringing company to pay monetary damages. Chien studied ITC rulings from 1995 to 2007 and found that in cases where it found infringement, it issued exclusion orders 100% of the time. In 2009, the ITC ordered a ban on chips made by Qualcomm (QCOM), STMicroelectronics (STM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Motorola (MOT), among others. The commission said the companies were selling chips with packaging that violated patents held by Tessera (TSRA), a San Jose-based semiconductor material company. Qualcomm and the other companies have appealed the decision. Though the ITC was conceived in part to protect U.S. manufacturers from the import of cheaper, inferior products, foreign companies are increasingly willing to use it to wage patent disputes against U.S. companies, Chien says. Espoo [Finland]-based Nokia in December complained against Apple at the ITC, alleging patent infringement. The ITC agreed to investigate the claims on Feb. 25. Apple filed a countercomplaint on Jan. 15.

Apple's complaints are the latest in a string of cases before the ITC involving smartphones. On Feb. 19, the same day the commission agreed to investigate Apple's complaint against Nokia, it also agreed to investigate a complaint against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) brought by Motorola, the Schaumburg [Ill.]-based maker of mobile phones. RIM and Apple have also been sued at the ITC by camera giant Eastman Kodak (EK), which alleged that both make phones with built-in cameras that infringe some Kodak patents. About 90% of cases brought before the ITC are resolved by a settlement, Chien says. Apple may genuinely be looking to win an import ban against HTC, she says. Still, even where an import ban is issued, cases often end in a settlement, says Ezra Gottheil, analyst at Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H. "No one will be prevented from importing their phones into the country," he says. "It's just a matter of how much money flows to which party for the rights they end up swapping." In other cases, ITC decisions may be overturned. In 2007, the ITC ordered a ban on the import of chips made by Qualcomm found to have infringed patents owned by Broadcom (BRCM). Qualcomm appealed, and a U.S. court of appeals vacated the ruling on procedural grounds in October 2008. Qualcomm ultimately resolved the dispute with an $891 million global settlement in April 2009.

© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved.

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Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan | View Clip
03/04/2010
MSNBC.com

Apple's attempt to block the import of smartphones made by HTC Corp. underscores the growing prominence of the International Trade Commission in settling patent disputes over smartphones, one of the fastest-growing areas in technology. On Mar. 2, Apple (AAPL) filed a patent-infringement complaint with the ITC in Washington, alleging that HTC (2498:TT) is using Apple technology without permission. A decision in favor of Cupertino [Calif.]-based Apple may bar HTC from importing its devices into the U.S. Apple is embroiled in other scuffles at the ITC, including one with wireless handset maker Nokia (NOK). Device manufacturers view the ITC as a more efficient and aggressive arbiter of patent disputes than overstretched federal courts, which can sometimes take years to bring conflicts to resolution. Turning to a government agency with a background in global trade issues underscores the infiltration by non-U.S. companies into the market for smartphones, shipments of which are expected by Gartner (IT) to rise 46% this year. "The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases," says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University. In its complaint at the ITC, Apple says Taoyuan [Taiwan]-based HTC infringes 10 patents mainly related to the software that runs smartphones. HTC was the first electronics maker to sell a phone based on the Android operating system, developed by a Google (GOOG)-led group of companies. "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to elaborate.

"Expedited Proceedings"

Created in 1916 to regulate international trade, the ITC has in recent years emerged as a potent force in patent law, especially in the area of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones. Companies often file patent lawsuits in U.S. district courts around the same time they file complaints at the ITC. On Mar. 2, Apple also filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of 10 other patents in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. "The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a Washington-based law firm that often represents clients before the ITC. Jarvis says it takes on average about 7 to 10 months to get a hearing at the ITC, and about two years to get to trial in district courts. ITC spokeswoman Peg O'Laughlin declined to comment on the increase in cases relating to smartphones, saying related questions "are better asked of the parties involved." The ITC issues so-called "exclusion orders," instructions to U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent the import of products that infringe patents. The ITC cannot order an infringing company to pay monetary damages. Chien studied ITC rulings from 1995 to 2007 and found that in cases where it found infringement, it issued exclusion orders 100% of the time. In 2009, the ITC ordered a ban on chips made by Qualcomm (QCOM), STMicroelectronics (STM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Motorola (MOT), among others. The commission said the companies were selling chips with packaging that violated patents held by Tessera (TSRA), a San Jose-based semiconductor material company. Qualcomm and the other companies have appealed the decision. Though the ITC was conceived in part to protect U.S. manufacturers from the import of cheaper, inferior products, foreign companies are increasingly willing to use it to wage patent disputes against U.S. companies, Chien says. Espoo [Finland]-based Nokia in December complained against Apple at the ITC, alleging patent infringement. The ITC agreed to investigate the claims on Feb. 25. Apple filed a countercomplaint on Jan. 15.

Settlement Likely

Apple's complaints are the latest in a string of cases before the ITC involving smartphones. On Feb. 19, the same day the commission agreed to investigate Apple's complaint against Nokia, it also agreed to investigate a complaint against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) brought by Motorola, the Schaumburg [Ill.]-based maker of mobile phones. RIM and Apple have also been sued at the ITC by camera giant Eastman Kodak (EK), which alleged that both make phones with built-in cameras that infringe some Kodak patents. About 90% of cases brought before the ITC are resolved by a settlement, Chien says. Apple may genuinely be looking to win an import ban against HTC, she says. Still, even where an import ban is issued, cases often end in a settlement, says Ezra Gottheil, analyst at Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H. "No one will be prevented from importing their phones into the country," he says. "It's just a matter of how much money flows to which party for the rights they end up swapping." In other cases, ITC decisions may be overturned. In 2007, the ITC ordered a ban on the import of chips made by Qualcomm found to have infringed patents owned by Broadcom (BRCM). Qualcomm appealed, and a U.S. court of appeals vacated the ruling on procedural grounds in October 2008. Qualcomm ultimately resolved the dispute with an $891 million global settlement in April 2009.

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Cemex USA and Ford receive EPA Energy Star recognition | View Clip
03/04/2010
Control Engineering

Initiatives aimed at energy management and greenhouse gas emissions reduction garner Cemex and Ford EPA 2010 Energy Star awards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Cemex USA a 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In related news, Ford Motor Company earned its fifth straight Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence.

Energy Star Logo. Source: Santa Clara University.

Cemex USA, an Energy Star partner since 2004, is receiving the Energy Star Partner of the Year award for strategic energy management and a commitment to save energy across its entire operation that has resulted in significant energy and financial savings. This is the second year that Cemex USA has been named Partner of the Year. In 2009, Cemex reduced its overall energy intensity by 2.2% as a result of its energy management program using Energy Star guidelines. More than 1.1 million MMBTUs were saved through such measures as commissioning two new cement lines using state-of-the-art vertical roller mills for finish grinding, replacing and repairing compressed air systems, and upgrading plant lighting. This energy savings resulted in cutting 107,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions and is equal to providing electricity to 14,900 American homes for one year, or avoiding emissions from about 19,700 passenger vehicles.

The energy management program at Cemex employs a corporate energy management team and a site energy team at each plant to deliver on the company's energy conservation and sustainable manufacturing practices. Cemex cement plants in Clinchfield, GA, Davenport, CA, Knoxville, TN, Louisville, KY, and Wampum, PA, have all received Energy Star certifications for their work to protect the environment through energy efficiency.

Ford's recognition results from the company's 2009 energy efficiency improvement of 4.6%, resulting in savings of approximately $15 million. Actions that have enabled Ford's energy efficiency gains include updated heating and lighting systems and advanced computer controls. The 2010 award marks the fifth consecutive year that Ford has been recognized with the EPA's Energy Star Award for its actions to reduce the amount of energy used to manufacture vehicles.

Since 2000, Ford's U.S. facilities have improved energy efficiency by more than 30%. That's equivalent to the annual energy consumed by more than 110,000 homes. Actions taken by Ford since 2000 that have contributed to its overall energy efficiency improvement include:

using flexible tooling to assemble multiple vehicles on the same production line, which requires less manufacturing floor space and optimizes plant utilization;

facility lighting system updates by replacing inefficient high-intensity discharge fixtures with up-to-date fluorescent lights and control systems;

upgrading paint process systems, including booth air handling and improved emission controls;

continued development of Ford's "Paint Shop of the Future" processes, including fumes-to-fuel that turns paint fumes into electricity, the 3-Wet painting process that significantly reduces the footprint and energy use of paint booths, and zirconium oxide pretreatment that uses less energy to inhibit surface corrosion;

installation of advanced computer controls on all North American plant air compressors for paint shop applications and pneumatic tools;

use of a PC power management program to improve global energy efficiency with an estimated reduction in the company's carbon footprint of between 16,000 and 25,000 metric tons annually;

a "Go Green" dealership sustainability program to improve the energy efficiency of Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships;

aggressively curtailing energy use during extended production shutdown periods;

leveraging the Energy Star program through employee energy awareness communications and events, development of energy modeling and analysis tools, and replication of industry best practices; and

updating heating systems at manufacturing facilities by replacing outmoded steam powerhouses with digitally controlled direct-fired natural gas air handler.

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Groundless Threats Of Copyright Infringement: US Court Explains Damages | View Clip
03/04/2010
ITProPortal.com

A court in the US has for the first time outlined the basis on which people there can claim damages when a copyright owner makes a groundless claim of infringement and demands that material be taken offline.

Under US law a copyright owner can contact a service provider, such as a video sharing website, and demand that they take down material that infringes their rights. The service provider will usually take the material down first, then inform whoever posted it online of their actions and reasons.

US copyright law contains a safeguard against abuse of this process, though. Section 512(f) of the US Copyright Act says that anyone who misrepresents their rights in demanding the takedown of material will have to pay the person who posted it damages.

Exactly what those damages are has never been tested in court, though, until now. In a ruling from the US District Court for the Northern District of California judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled on how that right to damages should be interpreted.

Internet law expert Eric Goldman, who is associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law in the US, said in his blog that this is the first time that a court has ruled on the exact meaning of that piece of the law.

"I can't recall another case discussing the damages requirements of a 512(f) claim," he wrote. "The only other definitive 512(f) plaintiff's win was Online Policy Group v. Diebold (also before Judge Fogel), which settled for $125k before Judge Fogel reached damages. As a result, I believe this is a novel ruling which could have significant implications for future 512(f) cases."

The case involved Stephanie Lenz and her uploading to YouTube of a video of her children dancing to a song by Prince, which was playing in the background. Universal Music issued YouTube with a takedown notice and Lenz sued, claiming that her video was protected by the 'fair use' provisions of US copyright law.

The Court had previously ruled that copyright holders should consider whether material is protected by fair use provisions before they issue takedown notices to service providers. In this ruling it considered what damages the person whose material had been taken down could claim.

Universal had claimed that economic damage had to be "more than marginal" in order for a case to succeed, while Lenz said that she should be entitled to all of her legal fees for disputing the takedown and taking her case to court.

The Court disagreed in part with both sides.

"The use of 'any damages' suggests strongly Congressional intent that recovery be available for damages even if they do not amount to … substantial economic damages," Judge Fogel ruled. "The statutory language, overall statutory scheme, and legislative history all are inconsistent with Universal's narrow interpretation of 'any damages'."

The Court said, though, that Lenz was not entitled to her legal fees for bringing the case to court because the Copyright Act allowed her to issue a counter-notice asserting her right to publish the clip. Costs related to that counter-notice were allowed, it said, but not those involved in the court case.

Judge Fogel agreed with Universal that if people in Lenz's position were able to recover those costs they could instantly create a right to monetary damages just by hiring lawyers to go to court, thereby incurring costs that would have to be paid by copyright holders.

"Overall, I think the legal rules outlined in this case are more favorable to 512(f) plaintiffs than not, but they also remind us how 512(f)'s utility may be limited in practice," said Goldman in his blog. "This ruling illustrates how hard 512(f) plaintiffs have to work to find compensable damages. We don't see many 512(f) cases being brought. Watching this case, it's easy to see why."

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Judge In Adwords Case: 'Google Sells Ad Space Not Keywords' | View Clip
03/04/2010
MediaPost.com

A federal judge in California has dismissed portions of lawsuit by California entrepreneur Daniel Jurin against Google over the company's AdWords program. But the decision isn't a complete victory for Google because it keeps alive a key part of the lawsuit.

Jurin, who sells Styrotrim building material, brought suit last year for trademark infringement, false advertising, interference with contractual relations, and other counts. The allegations all stemmed from Google's AdWords program, which allows trademarked terms to trigger pay-per-click ads.

In a ruling issued this week, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England in the eastern district of California dismissed a host of Jurin's claims, including allegations that Google confused consumers about who produced Stryotrim by returning links to a variety of companies in response to a search on the term. "Even if one accepts as true the allegation that a 'Sponsored link' might confuse a consumer, it is hardly likely that with several different sponsored links appearing on a page that a consumer might believe each one is the true 'producer' or 'origin' of the Styrotrim product," he wrote.

The decision also has some broad language stating that Google sells ad space, not keywords. Google "does not provide the content of the 'Sponsored Link' advertisements," England wrote. "It provides a space and a service and thereafter charges for its service."

England also ordered Jurin to pay Google $6,000 in attorneys' fees for having filed a virtually identical case last June and then withdrawing it in July. "Plaintiff may not voluntarily dismiss his original suit only to further harass defendant with renewed allegations of the same claims," he wrote.

England hasn't yet dismissed the trademark infringement claims, but those, too, seem likely to fail, says Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. "The writing is on the wall for this lawsuit," Goldman says in a blog post about the case.

Google currently is facing 10 trademark infringement cases stemming from AdWords. No court has yet definitively ruled on whether using a brand name to trigger a search ads infringes trademark. The one case to go to trial, a lawsuit by insurance company Geico against Google, resulted in a victory for Google in 2004. In that case, a judge in Alexandria, Va. ruled that Geico had not proven that consumers were confused when they typed "Geico" into a search box and were served with ads for other insurance companies.

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Retail sales up 4 percent in February | View Clip
03/04/2010
WJRT-TV - Online

Last month, 59 percent of its sample of 150,000 consumers were paying off their monthly credit card bill in full, compared to 46 percrnt in February of 2009.

REDWOOD CITY, CA (KGO) -- Major retail chains say they saw sales rise 4 percent in February, despite blizzards in the East and Midwest. Instead of reaching for their credit cards, though, consumers have shifted to pay by cash or by debit cards. Experts say the recession has taught them to stop accumulating debt.

Billshrink.com, based in Redwood City, has been tracking consumer payments for the past year.

Last month, 59 percent of its sample of 150,000 consumers were paying off their monthly credit card bill in full, compared to 46 percrnt in February of 2009.

Billshrink is a free website where consumers can learn about saving money, lowering bills, and finding the best credit card for their particular needs.

CEO Peter Pham says the trend is clear, citing figures from the Federal Reserve. The Fed says Americans have shed $101.2 billion in debt in the past 14 months.

The shift away from using credit cards was reflected in random interviews ABC7 News conducted on Broadway in downtown Redwood City. One man said he was a business owner, and he saw that pattern not only among his own customers, but also in his own behavior.

Dr. Mario Belotti, a professor of economics at Santa Clara University, said February's retail sales figures could be a reflection consumer sentiment that unemployment, while not falling, may have bottomed out and that real estate prices may be stabilizing. He pointed out that interest rates and inflation remain low.

We'll have more on February retail sales and on changing consumer habits on ABC7 News at 6.

(Copyright ©2010 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/03/2010
CIO IT-Strategie für Manager

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent blog post, Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed antitrust complaints against Google with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the complaints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged Microsoft antitrust campaign against Google. Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct.

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Apple HTC lawsuit: Apple sues HTC over patent dispute | View Clip
03/03/2010
Khabrein.info

New York: . Apple's success in settling patent disputes with the smartphone of HTC Corp., through International Trade Commission (ITC) underlies the significance of ITC in handling patent issues better and sooner than U.S district courts.

On last March, Apple, manufacturer of iPhone filed a patent complaint with the ITC over Taiwan-based HTC, which exported an infringe version of Apple's iPhone. The judgment was in favor of Apple as ITC barred HTC from exporting devices into U.S.

With this example, ITC's role in settling patent disputes has been well pronounced. If the company would have filed the complaint with any U.S courts, it would take at least two years to consider the case.

'The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases,' says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University.

Apple's complaint against HTC mainly related with the software that run on smartphones.

'We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it,' Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said.

ITC was established in 1916 to regulate international trade. It has now emerged as a powerful force in settling patent disputes, most importantly in areas of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones.

Generally, a complaint filed with ITC will take 7 to 10 months to get a hearing. At the same time, U.S. district courts will take at least two years to start hearing.

'The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings,' says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan.

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Apple's smartphone battle plan | View Clip
03/03/2010
TelecomAsia.net

Apple's attempt to block the import of smartphones made by HTC Corp. underscores the growing prominence of the International Trade Commission in settling patent disputes over smartphones, one of the fastest-growing areas in technology.

On Mar. 2, Apple filed a patent-infringement complaint with the ITC in Washington, alleging that HTC (2498:TT) is using Apple technology without permission. A decision in favor of Cupertino (Calif.)-based Apple may bar HTC from importing its devices into the U.S. Apple is embroiled in other scuffles at the ITC, including one with wireless handset maker Nokia.

Device manufacturers view the ITC as a more efficient and aggressive arbiter of patent disputes than overstretched federal courts, which can sometimes take years to bring conflicts to resolution. Turning to a government agency with a background in global trade issues underscores the infiltration by non-U.S. companies into the market for smartphones, shipments of which are expected by Gartner to rise 46% this year. "The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases," says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University.

In its complaint at the ITC, Apple says Taoyuan (Taiwan)-based HTC infringes 10 patents mainly related to the software that runs smartphones. HTC was the first electronics maker to sell a phone based on the Android operating system, developed by a Google -led group of companies. "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to elaborate.

"Expedited proceedings"

Created in 1916 to regulate international trade, the ITC has in recent years emerged as a potent force in patent law, especially in the area of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones. Companies often file patent lawsuits in U.S. district courts around the same time they file complaints at the ITC. On Mar. 2, Apple also filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of 10 other patents in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. "The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a Washington-based law firm that often represents clients before the ITC.

Jarvis says it takes on average about 7 to 10 months to get a hearing at the ITC, and about two years to get to trial in district courts. ITC spokeswoman Peg O'Laughlin declined to comment on the increase in cases relating to smartphones, saying related questions "are better asked of the parties involved."

The ITC issues so-called "exclusion orders," instructions to U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent the import of products that infringe patents. The ITC cannot order an infringing company to pay monetary damages. Chien studied ITC rulings from 1995 to 2007 and found that in cases where it found infringement, it issued exclusion orders 100% of the time.

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Apple's Smartphone Battle Plan | View Clip
03/03/2010
BusinessWeek - Online

The iPhone maker's complaint against HTC underscores the widening role of the International Trade Commission in cross-border disputes over smartphone tech

Apple's attempt to block the import of smartphones made by HTC Corp. underscores the growing prominence of the International Trade Commission in settling patent disputes over smartphones, one of the fastest-growing areas in technology.

On Mar. 2, Apple (AAPL) filed a patent-infringement complaint with the ITC in Washington, alleging that HTC (2498:TT) is using Apple technology without permission. A decision in favor of Cupertino (Calif.)-based Apple may bar HTC from importing its devices into the U.S. Apple is embroiled in other scuffles at the ITC, including one with wireless handset maker Nokia (NOK).

Device manufacturers view the ITC as a more efficient and aggressive arbiter of patent disputes than overstretched federal courts, which can sometimes take years to bring conflicts to resolution. Turning to a government agency with a background in global trade issues underscores the infiltration by non-U.S. companies into the market for smartphones, shipments of which are expected by Gartner (IT) to rise 46% this year. "The ITC is becoming a mainstream second track for patent litigation that allows companies to take a second bite of the apple with their patent cases," says Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University.

In its complaint at the ITC, Apple says Taoyuan (Taiwan)-based HTC infringes 10 patents mainly related to the software that runs smartphones. HTC was the first electronics maker to sell a phone based on the Android operating system, developed by a Google (GOOG)-led group of companies. "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to elaborate.

"Expedited Proceedings"

Created in 1916 to regulate international trade, the ITC has in recent years emerged as a potent force in patent law, especially in the area of technology products like semiconductors and wireless phones. Companies often file patent lawsuits in U.S. district courts around the same time they file complaints at the ITC. On Mar. 2, Apple also filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of 10 other patents in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. "The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," says Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a Washington-based law firm that often represents clients before the ITC.

Jarvis says it takes on average about 7 to 10 months to get a hearing at the ITC, and about two years to get to trial in district courts. ITC spokeswoman Peg O'Laughlin declined to comment on the increase in cases relating to smartphones, saying related questions "are better asked of the parties involved."

The ITC issues so-called "exclusion orders," instructions to U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent the import of products that infringe patents. The ITC cannot order an infringing company to pay monetary damages. Chien studied ITC rulings from 1995 to 2007 and found that in cases where it found infringement, it issued exclusion orders 100% of the time.

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Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors | View Clip
03/03/2010
Top Tech News

The International Trade Commission, where Apple has sued HTC, is becoming the venue for technology disputes. The ITC can bar imports like HTC devices, and it acts faster than federal courts. The usual result is a payment, but Apple appears more interested in warning off competitors. Apple wants HTC and others to be clear its patents are off-limits.

Apple's patent suit against HTC, filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission, is just the latest in a string of technology-related complaints filed with the government agency. The trend shows the increasing importance of the ITC.

Apple alleges that Taiwan-based HTC infringes on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's graphical user interface, architecture and hardware. The company is seeking a permanent injunction barring HTC from importing infringing phones into the U.S. Apple is also seeking triple damages and maximum interest.

Apple sued in the U.S. District Court in Delaware concurrently with bringing the ITC action.

A Warning To Others

The complaint serves as fair warning that Apple will attack other competitors it believes are stealing its intellectual property. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

It's a message that Apple has been putting out for several years. In 2007, Jobs said, "We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of design. ... We've been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we've filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them."

Last year, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said during a conference call, "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our IP, and if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does. ... We think competition is good; it makes us all better. But we're ready to suit up and go against anyone."

Fast-Track Relief

But suing in the overwhelmed federal courts has become too slow a process for many technology companies. Apple is just the latest company to seek remedies through the ITC, a venue that has become increasingly available as Chinese and Taiwanese companies compete with Silicon Valley.

"The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Washington-based Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, told Business Week. The ITC will hear matters within seven to 10 months of the filing of a complaint, compared to approximately two years in federal court.

The ITC has a powerful tool that it wields freely. The commission can issue "exclusion orders," barring the importation of infringing products. And when it finds infringement, it issues those orders. Santa Clara University law professor Colleen Chien conducted a study of ITC exclusion orders between 1995 and 2007 and found the orders were issued 100 percent of the time when infringement was found.

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Apple's Suit Against HTC Is a Warning To Its Competitors | View Clip
03/03/2010
CIO Today

The International Trade Commission, where Apple has sued HTC, is becoming the venue for technology disputes. The ITC can bar imports like HTC devices, and it acts faster than federal courts. The usual result is a payment, but Apple appears more interested in warning off competitors. Apple wants HTC and others to be clear its patents are off-limits.

Apple's patent suit against HTC, filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission, is just the latest in a string of technology-related complaints filed with the government agency. The trend shows the increasing importance of the ITC.

Apple alleges that Taiwan-based HTC infringes on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's graphical user interface, architecture and hardware. The company is seeking a permanent injunction barring HTC from importing infringing phones into the U.S. Apple is also seeking triple damages and maximum interest.

Apple sued in the U.S. District Court in Delaware concurrently with bringing the ITC action.

A Warning To Others

The complaint serves as fair warning that Apple will attack other competitors it believes are stealing its intellectual property. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

It's a message that Apple has been putting out for several years. In 2007, Jobs said, "We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of design. ... We've been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we've filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them."

Last year, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said during a conference call, "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our IP, and if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does. ... We think competition is good; it makes us all better. But we're ready to suit up and go against anyone."

Fast-Track Relief

But suing in the overwhelmed federal courts has become too slow a process for many technology companies. Apple is just the latest company to seek remedies through the ITC, a venue that has become increasingly available as Chinese and Taiwanese companies compete with Silicon Valley.

"The ITC is well-known for its expedited proceedings," Thomas Jarvis, a partner at Washington-based Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, told Business Week. The ITC will hear matters within seven to 10 months of the filing of a complaint, compared to approximately two years in federal court.

The ITC has a powerful tool that it wields freely. The commission can issue "exclusion orders," barring the importation of infringing products. And when it finds infringement, it issues those orders. Santa Clara University law professor Colleen Chien conducted a study of ITC exclusion orders between 1995 and 2007 and found the orders were issued 100 percent of the time when infringement was found.

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Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot | View Clip
03/03/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

atthew Zugsberger checked his luggage at Sacramento International Airport in December 2008, with marijuana bags concealed in a metal dominoes case and duct-taped inside a wetsuit.

He cleared security with another stash in his pants.

On Tuesday, the former deep sea diver, who says he has used marijuana to treat his pain since crushing vertebrae in an oil platform accident, went on trial in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges that could land him in prison for four years.

He also took the stage – and the witness stand – in a test case over how much medical pot is suitable for possession and transport for personal use.

Prosecutor Satnam Rattu argued there is only one conclusion to draw from Zugsberger's attempt to take more than 3 pounds of marijuana on a flight to New Orleans: He intended to sell a lot of pot.

"Medical marijuana is legal in California to a certain extent," Rattu told the jury. "This case exceeds those limits."

But Zugsberger's defense lawyer, Grant Pegg, told jurors Zugsberger had ample reason to be carrying that amount: a legitimate medical condition and a physician's recommendation.

Dr. Milan Hopkins, a former general practitioner who runs a Mendocino County "alternative medi-spa" featuring herbal treatments and laser hair removal, gave Zugsberger his clinic's standard recommendation. It reads: "Any one of my patients may need to grow 25 mature plants and possess 5 pounds of cannabis for their yearly medical needs."

Zugsberger, who turned 34 Tuesday, argues that authorities had no right to arrest him or take his pot once they realized he was a medical marijuana patient with a recommendation that more than covered the amount he possessed.

He hopes his case will be bolstered by a Jan. 21 California Supreme Court ruling that found the state cannot impose limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

A Sacramento police detective testified Tuesday that Zugsberger had enough pot to smoke every two hours for a year. But the legal discussion focused less on how much pot medical users are able to smoke than on how much they can eat.

Zugsberger testified he was taking the marijuana to New Orleans so that his ex-wife, a gourmet cook, and another master chef could meld it into pasta and ice cream for his use, because he has difficulty smoking.

He told jurors he ingests at least 13 grams of pot a day, "some smoked, mostly eaten," and that he consumes up to a quarter-pound on days of extreme nausea or pain.

"My tolerance is up there," he said.

The prosecution showed little tolerance for the defense's expert witness, Chris Conrad, a marijuana legalization advocate who once won a marijuana "freedom fighter" award from High Times magazine.

Conrad said it is common for medical users to possess as much as 3 pounds of marijuana, particularly if it is being used in food, which diminishes the potency.

Rattu, the prosecutor, pointed out that Conrad has no formal medical training. And he read a passage from Conrad's writings portraying medical marijuana advocates as "patriots" akin to abolitionists who helped free slaves.

Despite the state Supreme Court's decision tossing out limits for medical pot possession, legal observers say Zugsberger is not necessarily protected by his physician's recommendation.

"I don't think a 5-pound recommendation could stand up in court for any medical condition," said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and an attorney in the Supreme Court case.

Uelmen represented Patrick Kelly, a Long Beach man who said he was using marijuana for back problems and depression. Kelly was charged with possession for sale for having 12 ounces of marijuana.

The Supreme Court threw out Kelly's conviction, saying the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law by restricting medical users to 8 ounces of dried pot.

Read the full story at the Sacramento Bee.

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Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot | View Clip
03/03/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

Peter Hecht - Sacramento Bee

atthew Zugsberger checked his luggage at Sacramento International Airport in December 2008, with marijuana bags concealed in a metal dominoes case and duct-taped inside a wetsuit.

He cleared security with another stash in his pants.

On Tuesday, the former deep sea diver, who says he has used marijuana to treat his pain since crushing vertebrae in an oil platform accident, went on trial in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges that could land him in prison for four years.

He also took the stage – and the witness stand – in a test case over how much medical pot is suitable for possession and transport for personal use.

Prosecutor Satnam Rattu argued there is only one conclusion to draw from Zugsberger's attempt to take more than 3 pounds of marijuana on a flight to New Orleans: He intended to sell a lot of pot.

"Medical marijuana is legal in California to a certain extent," Rattu told the jury. "This case exceeds those limits."

But Zugsberger's defense lawyer, Grant Pegg, told jurors Zugsberger had ample reason to be carrying that amount: a legitimate medical condition and a physician's recommendation.

Dr. Milan Hopkins, a former general practitioner who runs a Mendocino County "alternative medi-spa" featuring herbal treatments and laser hair removal, gave Zugsberger his clinic's standard recommendation. It reads: "Any one of my patients may need to grow 25 mature plants and possess 5 pounds of cannabis for their yearly medical needs."

Zugsberger, who turned 34 Tuesday, argues that authorities had no right to arrest him or take his pot once they realized he was a medical marijuana patient with a recommendation that more than covered the amount he possessed.

He hopes his case will be bolstered by a Jan. 21 California Supreme Court ruling that found the state cannot impose limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

A Sacramento police detective testified Tuesday that Zugsberger had enough pot to smoke every two hours for a year. But the legal discussion focused less on how much pot medical users are able to smoke than on how much they can eat.

Zugsberger testified he was taking the marijuana to New Orleans so that his ex-wife, a gourmet cook, and another master chef could meld it into pasta and ice cream for his use, because he has difficulty smoking.

He told jurors he ingests at least 13 grams of pot a day, "some smoked, mostly eaten," and that he consumes up to a quarter-pound on days of extreme nausea or pain.

"My tolerance is up there," he said.

The prosecution showed little tolerance for the defense's expert witness, Chris Conrad, a marijuana legalization advocate who once won a marijuana "freedom fighter" award from High Times magazine.

Conrad said it is common for medical users to possess as much as 3 pounds of marijuana, particularly if it is being used in food, which diminishes the potency.

Rattu, the prosecutor, pointed out that Conrad has no formal medical training. And he read a passage from Conrad's writings portraying medical marijuana advocates as "patriots" akin to abolitionists who helped free slaves.

Despite the state Supreme Court's decision tossing out limits for medical pot possession, legal observers say Zugsberger is not necessarily protected by his physician's recommendation.

"I don't think a 5-pound recommendation could stand up in court for any medical condition," said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and an attorney in the Supreme Court case.

Uelmen represented Patrick Kelly, a Long Beach man who said he was using marijuana for back problems and depression. Kelly was charged with possession for sale for having 12 ounces of marijuana.

The Supreme Court threw out Kelly's conviction, saying the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law by restricting medical users to 8 ounces of dried pot.

Read the full story at the Sacramento Bee.

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Deep-sea diver in test case over medical pot | View Clip
03/03/2010
McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau

By Peter Hecht | Sacramento Bee

atthew Zugsberger checked his luggage at Sacramento International Airport in December 2008, with marijuana bags concealed in a metal dominoes case and duct-taped inside a wetsuit.

He cleared security with another stash in his pants.

On Tuesday, the former deep sea diver, who says he has used marijuana to treat his pain since crushing vertebrae in an oil platform accident, went on trial in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges that could land him in prison for four years.

He also took the stage – and the witness stand – in a test case over how much medical pot is suitable for possession and transport for personal use.

Prosecutor Satnam Rattu argued there is only one conclusion to draw from Zugsberger's attempt to take more than 3 pounds of marijuana on a flight to New Orleans: He intended to sell a lot of pot.

"Medical marijuana is legal in California to a certain extent," Rattu told the jury. "This case exceeds those limits."

But Zugsberger's defense lawyer, Grant Pegg, told jurors Zugsberger had ample reason to be carrying that amount: a legitimate medical condition and a physician's recommendation.

Dr. Milan Hopkins, a former general practitioner who runs a Mendocino County "alternative medi-spa" featuring herbal treatments and laser hair removal, gave Zugsberger his clinic's standard recommendation. It reads: "Any one of my patients may need to grow 25 mature plants and possess 5 pounds of cannabis for their yearly medical needs."

Zugsberger, who turned 34 Tuesday, argues that authorities had no right to arrest him or take his pot once they realized he was a medical marijuana patient with a recommendation that more than covered the amount he possessed.

He hopes his case will be bolstered by a Jan. 21 California Supreme Court ruling that found the state cannot impose limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

A Sacramento police detective testified Tuesday that Zugsberger had enough pot to smoke every two hours for a year. But the legal discussion focused less on how much pot medical users are able to smoke than on how much they can eat.

Zugsberger testified he was taking the marijuana to New Orleans so that his ex-wife, a gourmet cook, and another master chef could meld it into pasta and ice cream for his use, because he has difficulty smoking.

He told jurors he ingests at least 13 grams of pot a day, "some smoked, mostly eaten," and that he consumes up to a quarter-pound on days of extreme nausea or pain.

"My tolerance is up there," he said.

The prosecution showed little tolerance for the defense's expert witness, Chris Conrad, a marijuana legalization advocate who once won a marijuana "freedom fighter" award from High Times magazine.

Conrad said it is common for medical users to possess as much as 3 pounds of marijuana, particularly if it is being used in food, which diminishes the potency.

Rattu, the prosecutor, pointed out that Conrad has no formal medical training. And he read a passage from Conrad's writings portraying medical marijuana advocates as "patriots" akin to abolitionists who helped free slaves.

Despite the state Supreme Court's decision tossing out limits for medical pot possession, legal observers say Zugsberger is not necessarily protected by his physician's recommendation.

"I don't think a 5-pound recommendation could stand up in court for any medical condition," said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and an attorney in the Supreme Court case.

Uelmen represented Patrick Kelly, a Long Beach man who said he was using marijuana for back problems and depression. Kelly was charged with possession for sale for having 12 ounces of marijuana.

The Supreme Court threw out Kelly's conviction, saying the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law by restricting medical users to 8 ounces of dried pot.

Read the full story at the Sacramento Bee.

Return to Top



Sacramento man on trial for taking pot on airplane | View Clip
03/03/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

Matthew Zugsberger checked his luggage at Sacramento International Airport in December 2008, with marijuana bags concealed in a metal dominoes case and duct-taped inside a wetsuit.

He cleared security with another stash in his pants.

On Tuesday, the ex-deep sea diver – who says he has used marijuana to treat his pain since crushing vertebrae in an oil platform accident – went on trial in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges that could land him in prison for four years.

He also took the stage – and the witness stand – in a test case over how much medical pot is suitable for possession and transport for personal use.

Prosecutor Satnam Rattu argued there is only one conclusion to draw from Zugsberger's attempt to take more than 3 pounds of marijuana on a flight to New Orleans: He intended to sell a lot of pot.

"Medical marijuana is legal in California to a certain extent," Rattu told the jury. "This case exceeds those limits."

But Zugsberger's defense lawyer, Grant Pegg, told jurors Zugsberger had ample reason to be carrying that amount: a legitimate medical condition and a physician's recommendation.

Dr. Milan Hopkins, a former general practitioner who runs a Mendocino County "alternative medi-spa" featuring herbal treatments and laser hair removal, gave Zugsberger his clinic's standard recommendation. It reads: "Any one of my patients may need to grow 25 mature plants and possess 5 pounds of cannabis for their yearly medical needs."

Zugsberger, who turned 34 Tuesday, argues that authorities had no right to arrest him or take his pot once they realized he was a medical marijuana patient with a recommendation that more than covered the amount he possessed.

He hopes his case will be bolstered by a Jan. 21 California Supreme Court ruling that found the state cannot impose limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

A Sacramento police detective testified Tuesday that Zugsberger had enough pot to smoke every two hours for a year. But the legal discussion focused less on how much pot medical users are able to smoke than on how much they can eat.

Zugsberger testified he was taking the marijuana to New Orleans so that his ex-wife, a gourmet cook, and another master chef could meld it into pasta and ice cream for his use, because he has difficulty smoking.

He told jurors he ingests at least 13 grams of pot a day, "some smoked, mostly eaten," and that he consumes up to a quarter-pound on days of extreme nausea or pain.

"My tolerance is up there," he said.

The prosecution showed little tolerance for the defense's expert witness, Chris Conrad, a marijuana legalization advocate who once won a marijuana "freedom fighter" award from High Times magazine.

Conrad said it is common for medical users to possess as much as 3 pounds of marijuana, particularly if it is being used in food, which diminishes the potency.

Rattu, the prosecutor, pointed out that Conrad has no formal medical training. And he read a passage from Conrad's writings portraying medical marijuana advocates as "patriots" akin to abolitionists who helped free slaves.

Despite the state Supreme Court's decision tossing out limits for medical pot possession, legal observers say Zugsberger is not necessarily protected by his physician's recommendation.

"I don't think a 5-pound recommendation could stand up in court for any medical condition," said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and an attorney in the Supreme Court case.

Uelmen represented Patrick Kelly, a Long Beach man who said he was using marijuana for back problems and depression. Kelly was charged with possession for sale for having 12 ounces of marijuana.

The Supreme Court threw out Kelly's conviction, saying the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law by restricting medical users to 8 ounces of dried pot.

Aaron Smith, California director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates rolling back possession laws, said the court decision hasn't stopped police from arresting medical marijuana users based on how much they are carrying.

If Zugsberger "is a legitimate medical patient, he should get his medicine back and be left alone," Smith said.

Last year, after Zugsberger and a girlfriend pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession in Washington, a judge agreed to return 10 pounds of pot. He has another case pending for 2 pounds sent to his former home in New Orleans.

Return to Top



Sacramento man on trial for taking pot on airplane
03/03/2010
Sacramento Bee, The

Matthew Zugsberger checked his luggage at Sacramento International Airport in December 2008, with marijuana bags concealed in a metal dominoes case and duct-taped inside a wetsuit.

He cleared security with another stash in his pants.

On Tuesday, the ex-deep sea diver – who says he has used marijuana to treat his pain since crushing vertebrae in an oil platform accident – went on trial in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges that could land him in prison for four years.

He also took the stage – and the witness stand – in a test case over how much medical pot is suitable for possession and transport for personal use.

Prosecutor Satnam Rattu argued there is only one conclusion to draw from Zugsberger's attempt to take more than 3 pounds of marijuana on a flight to New Orleans: He intended to sell a lot of pot.

"Medical marijuana is legal in California to a certain extent," Rattu told the jury. "This case exceeds those limits."

But Zugsberger's defense lawyer, Grant Pegg , told jurors Zugsberger had ample reason to be carrying that amount: a legitimate medical condition and a physician's recommendation.

Dr. Milan Hopkins , a former general practitioner who runs a Mendocino County "alternative medi-spa" featuring herbal treatments and laser hair removal, gave Zugsberger his clinic's standard recommendation. It reads: "Any one of my patients may need to grow 25 mature plants and possess 5 pounds of cannabis for their yearly medical needs."

Zugsberger, who turned 34 Tuesday, argues that authorities had no right to arrest him or take his pot once they realized he was a medical marijuana patient with a recommendation that more than covered the amount he possessed.

He hopes his case will be bolstered by a Jan. 21 California Supreme Court ruling that found the state cannot impose limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

A Sacramento police detective testified Tuesday that Zugsberger had enough pot to smoke every two hours for a year. But the legal discussion focused less on how much pot medical users are able to smoke than on how much they can eat.

Zugsberger testified he was taking the marijuana to New Orleans so that his ex-wife, a gourmet cook, and another master chef could meld it into pasta and ice cream for his use, because he has difficulty smoking.

He told jurors he ingests at least 13 grams of pot a day, "some smoked, mostly eaten," and that he consumes up to a quarter-pound on days of extreme nausea or pain.

"My tolerance is up there," he said.

The prosecution showed little tolerance for the defense's expert witness, Chris Conrad , a marijuana legalization advocate who once won a marijuana "freedom fighter" award from High Times magazine .

Conrad said it is common for medical users to possess as much as 3 pounds of marijuana, particularly if it is being used in food, which diminishes the potency.

Rattu, the prosecutor, pointed out that Conrad has no formal medical training. And he read a passage from Conrad's writings portraying medical marijuana advocates as "patriots" akin to abolitionists who helped free slaves.

Despite the state Supreme Court's decision tossing out limits for medical pot possession, legal observers say Zugsberger is not necessarily protected by his physician's recommendation.

"I don't think a 5-pound recommendation could stand up in court for any medical condition," said Gerald Uelmen , a Santa Clara University law professor and an attorney in the Supreme Court case.

Uelmen represented Patrick Kelly , a Long Beach man who said he was using marijuana for back problems and depression. Kelly was charged with possession for sale for having 12 ounces of marijuana.

The Supreme Court threw out Kelly's conviction, saying the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law by restricting medical users to 8 ounces of dried pot.

Aaron Smith , California director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates rolling back possession laws, said the court decision hasn't stopped police from arresting medical marijuana users based on how much they are carrying.

If Zugsberger "is a legitimate medical patient, he should get his medicine back and be left alone," Smith said.

Last year, after Zugsberger and a girlfriend pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession in Washington, a judge agreed to return 10 pounds of pot. He has another case pending for 2 pounds sent to his former home in New Orleans.

Copyright © 2010 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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Tech: Remember when students protested over wars and civil rights? | View Clip
03/03/2010
Wisconsin State Journal

College students are known for protesting just about every injustice they perceive, but it usually involves serious topics like war and racism.

Students at Santa Clara University have found a less serious subject to aim at: allegedly poor cell phone reception, according to Network World.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain, Network World reported.

For details, the entire story is here.

Posted in Blog on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 3:00 am Updated: 10:11 am. Santa Clara University, Chronicle Of Higher Education, Kelsey Houlihan, At&t, Network World

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/02/2010
Yahoo! News

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent blog post, Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the comp laints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged . Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct. 'It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves,' a Google spokesperson told . Don't Look At Us . . . Mostly

In a blog post on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about 'Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors.' But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current . Instead, Heiner says some 'concerned companies' have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when 'antitrust concerns appear to be substantial.' It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any . Vertical Search Is (Sometimes) Spam

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the it 'penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam.' Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect 'content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue.' Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it? So what do you say? Is Microsoft orchestrating a campaign against Google, or does the search giant need more oversight from antitrust regulators?

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/02/2010
PC World India- Online

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent , Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed antitrust complaints against Google with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the complaints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged Microsoft antitrust campaign against Google. Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct.

"It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves," a Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.

Don't Look At Us . . . Mostly

In a on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about "Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors."

But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current antitrust complaints against Google. Instead, Heiner says some "concerned companies" have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when "antitrust concerns appear to be substantial."

It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any antitrust complaints against Google.

Vertical Search Is (Sometimes) Spam

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current antitrust complaints against Google -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the company did tell The New York Timesit "penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam." Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect "content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue." Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it?

So what do you say? Is Microsoft orchestrating a campaign against Google, or does the search giant need more oversight from antitrust regulators?

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Consider This, Unmarried Couples: The "Pre" Pre-Nup | View Clip
03/02/2010
KNTV-TV - Online

clipart.com

When good love goes bad, who gets the iPod, the big screen TV or the chihuahua you adopted together? That's the question you may not want to ask when love is first blooming, but it's the question you have to answer when the romance gets rotten.

And that's led to a new trend, popular in cities where more unmarried couples are cohabitating. Call it a "pre" pre-nup. Also known as a “cohabitation agreement,” it's a contract between couples. You get the dog. I get the couch.

Tom Plante, a psychologist and professor at Santa Clara University, has counseled enough couples going through nasty splits to know, talking about money and property in the beginning can save a lot of money and property later on.

"It can be open warfare and that means they're arguing about everything,” Plante says. For some couples, “there's anger, resentment, nd] bitterness. People argue and fight about the smallest things.”

Shocking Celebrity Splits

Shocking Celebrity Splits

Celebrity Baby Boom: Christina Milian Welcomes Daughter Violet

Celebrity Baby Boom: Christina Milian Welcomes Daughter Violet

Famous Feuds: Marcia and Jan Brady

Famous Feuds: Marcia and Jan Brady

Linda Hong recently ended a 4-year relationship. Her friend, Nhon Luu, just got out of a 5 and a half year relationship. They say they've seen plenty of knock down, drag out breakups with arguments stemming over who gets the weekend bag or the one-of-a-kind thrift shop vinyl record. Hong says she has several friends who no longer date, but share “custody” of their pooches.

Both say they would consider pre pre-nups.

“We always come into things with the best intentions, but sometimes life happens and people split up,” Hong says.

Besides, says Luu, “If you can't have an honest discussion about something with the person you're entering something big with, that's not a good sign, right?”

Family law attorney Bob Tennant says the most bizarre battle he's mediated involved a collection of Jim Beam bottles. “Both parties wanted the whole collection, so we had to sit down and equally divide the Jim Beam bottles.” They were empty bottles.

Tennant says avoid the Beam battle by having a simple conversation. And you don't have to get all lawyered up. Informal documents, as long as they are signed by both parties, or even emails that you've both acknowledged can be considered binding contracts. But you will want more formal agreements for expensive items, like houses and cars.

And if you think the cohab agreement takes the romance out of things, consider what the counselors say. Talking about things early on may mean a healthier relationship later on. Plante says, “Sometimes having that structure in place can help people ultimately relax. They know the terms of engagement.”

Even if the ‘terms of engagement' never lead to wedding bells, at least you know who gets the Chihuahua.

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Got insurance? Tuition insurance might be a right fit for Bay Area colleges in a down economy | View Clip
03/02/2010
Examiner.com

For anyone who has paid college tuition and then had to drop out before mid-semester, chances are you likely received some percentage of the amount paid. But if a student pulls out for non-medical or purely personal reasons, or was kicked-out for behavior issues or simply for bad grades, well, there is no chance of tuition refund at all. What a loss. Now a new concept in insurance has arrived, although primarily for smaller, private colleges and universities around the country.

The market leader is Massachusetts-based A.W.G. Dewar, which offers tuition insurance policies to students and their families at 180 colleges and universities, and at almost a thousand private primary and secondary schools across the nation. A.W.G Dewar has chosen to offer this type of policy to "institutions where this is likely to work." which translates into mainly elite, expensive, and often residential schools, when looking at the list of schools involved in this program. In the Bay Area, schools offering policies from Dewar include: University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, and Saint Mary's College.

Seeing the potential value and market of such policies, other insurance companies are trying to move into the market to reach a larger proportion of tuition payers. The latest is Markel Insurance, which is now working with several regional and national brokers to serve what it sees as a larger, unserved market -- people paying tuition to the colleges and universities that do not work with Dewar. Because some parents see risks in paying for expensive higher education, they want to feel protected if their son or daughter has to withdraw from school.

Dewar sells policies through colleges, and not directly to parents, because they like the aspect of having the school involved. The colleges maintain their own enrollment records and have their own repayment policies, making it easier to verify claims and pay them.

Markel's policies offer 100 percent coverage for medical withdrawals or withdrawal due to the death of the tuition payer, and 75 percent refunds due to withdrawals for emotional, mental, or nervous disorders. Optional coverage for academic dismissals and voluntary withdrawals are available as well.

Other issues come into play here, as tuition insurance is still a niche market, and not appropriate for all students. Low cost tuition at community colleges and some other public institutions with special tuition payment circumstances, may cause parents to just take the risk as they likely pay a smaller amount than at the pricey institutions. As this is a newer area of insurance policies, future developments should be of interest to anyone concerned about upcoming tuition payments.

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Groundless threats of copyright infringement: US court explains damages | View Clip
03/02/2010
Law.com

A court in the US has for the first time outlined the basis on which people there can claim damages when a copyright owner makes a groundless claim of infringement and demands that material be taken offline. Under US law a copyright owner can contact a service provider, such as a video sharing website, and demand that they take down material that infringes their rights. The service provider will usually take the material down first, then inform whoever posted it online of their actions and reasons.

US copyright law contains a safeguard against abuse of this process, though. Section 512(f) of the US Copyright Act says that anyone who misrepresents their rights in demanding the takedown of material will have to pay the person who posted it damages.

Exactly what those damages are has never been tested in court, though, until now. In a ruling from the US District Court for the Northern District of California judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled on how that right to damages should be interpreted.

Internet law expert Eric Goldman, who is associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law in the US, that this is the first time that a court has ruled on the exact meaning of that piece of the law. 'I can't recall another case discussing the damages requirements of a 512(f) claim,' he wrote. 'The only other definitive 512(f) plaintiff's win was Online Policy Group v. Diebold (also before Judge Fogel), which settled for $125k before Judge Fogel reached damages. As a result, I believe this is a novel ruling which could have significant implications for future 512(f) cases.' The case involved Stephanie Lenz and her uploading to YouTube of a video of her children dancing to a song by Prince, which was playing in the background. Universal Music issued YouTube with a takedown notice and Lenz sued, claiming that her video was protected by the 'fair use' provisions of US copyright law.

The Court had previously ruled that copyright holders should consider whether material is protected by fair use provisions before they issue takedown notices to service providers. In this ruling it considered what damages the person whose material had been taken down could claim.

Universal had claimed that economic damage had to be 'more than marginal' in order for a case to succeed, while Lenz said that she should be entitled to all of her legal fees for disputing the takedown and taking her case to court.

The Court disagreed in part with both sides. 'The use of 'any damages' suggests strongly Congressional intent that recovery be available for damages even if they do not amount to substantial economic damages,' Judge Fogel ruled. 'The statutory language, overall statutory scheme, and legislative history all are inconsistent with Universals narrow interpretation of 'any damages'.' The Court said, though, that Lenz was not entitled to her legal fees for bringing the case to court because the Copyright Act allowed her to issue a counter-notice asserting her right to publish the clip. Costs related to that counter-notice were allowed, it said, but not those involved in the court case.

Judge Fogel agreed with Universal that if people in Lenz's position were able to recover those costs they could instantly create a right to monetary damages just by hiring lawyers to go to court, thereby incurring costs that would have to be paid by copyright holders. 'Overall, I think the legal rules outlined in this case are more favorable to 512(f) plaintiffs than not, but they also remind us how 512(f)'s utility may be limited in practice,' said Goldman in his blog. 'This ruling illustrates how hard 512(f) plaintiffs have to work to find compensable damages. We don't see many 512(f) cases being brought. Watching this case, it's easy to see why.'

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Proper Copyright Notice Bars 'Innocent Infringer' Defense, 5th Circuit Says
03/02/2010
Consumer Electronics Daily

Slap a copyright warning on a CD and the law's 'innocent infringer' defense vanishes for any infringing activity, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week in a long-running P2P case. The panel overturned part of a San Antonio ruling that said Whitney Harper's claimed ignorance of copyright law in downloading songs 'presented a disputed issue of material fact' suitable for trial. Record labels then sought and received the $200-per-work minimum damages available for innocent infringement, but the parties appealed. A P2P defense lawyer not involved in the case said the 5th Circuit was misinterpreting in the statute the term 'access' to a copyright notice.

A teenager when her file-sharing was captured in 2004, Harper said she thought P2P downloading was comparable to Internet radio. She relied on Section 504(c)(2) of the Copyright Act, which provides the $200 minimum where an infringer shows she 'was not aware and had no reason to believe' that such behavior was infringing. Section 402(d) preempts innocent-infringer if the infringer has 'access' to a phonorecord with a proper notice.

The panel said Harper couldn't challenge the sufficiency of the evidence that the songs in question were present on her computer. She had reinstalled the operating system after P2P investigator MediaSentry took screenshots of her shared folder, erasing most traces of the songs, but Harper didn't deny downloading the songs. The panel didn't address the legitimacy of the labels' making-available theory of infringement without transfer, because it said Harper didn't challenge the court's finding of infringement by way of downloading. By presenting 'in a cursory manner' her constitutional challenge to the $750 statutory minimum damages in the Copyright Act, Harper waived the right to assert it, the court said.

The San Antonio court dismissed the notion that access to a commercial CD with a copyright notice was sufficient to show that a defendant 'knew that she was accessing copyright material from an entity that did not have permission to distribute such material,' the P2P network. Harper herself simply claimed she was 'too young and naive' to associate notice on a CD with downloaded music. But 'the plain language of the statute shows that the infringer's knowledge or intent does not affect its application,' the 5th Circuit said: 'Lack of legal sophistication' isn't a defense. Publishers 'trade the extra burden of providing copyright notice for absolute protection' against an innocent-infringer. The San Antonio court must award the sought statutory damages, $750 per work, the panel ruled.

'The mere fact that a copy exists somewhere on the planet with a copyright notice does not preclude' Harper's defense, and doesn't count as 'access,' said New York-based P2P defense lawyer and blogger Ray Beckerman. The 5th Circuit wrongly assumed Harper had access to copies with a proper notice, a question for the jury, he said.

The main value of the 5th Circuit ruling is to 'reaffirm what most courts have said' about legal naivete as a poor defense in many areas of law, a media industry lawyer told us. Innocent infringement is among a handful of 'highly unlikely defenses' that have come up mostly in the RIAA's P2P litigation, and as a result few courts have ruled on its contours. The innocence defense was designed for defendants who 'made a good-faith effort to get authorization' to use a work but somehow came up short, the lawyer said. 'Access' in the statute means the work was available in the 'environment' around a defendant, such as a local retail store or radio. 'If [Harper] lives near a Wal-Mart, she has access. It's trying to be cute in an argument,' the lawyer said.

The scope of the innocence defense was actually decided in a 7th Circuit case, 2005's BMG v. Gonzalez, Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, told us. The 5th Circuit decision mentions Gonzalez but not in the context of innocent-infringer -- the 7th Circuit treated the 'access' question as a foregone conclusion, given the availability of works with copyright notices. The law says 'if a work in the stream of commerce bears the copyright notice, all infringers are constructively on notice' even if it's not attached to the copy they acquire, Goldman said. The innocence defense will 'rarely be useful' to defendants even if they succeed because of the $200 minimum and judicial discretion to raise that sum, he said -- challenging the constitutionality of statutory damages is a better strategy. -- Greg Piper

Copyright © 2010 Warren Publishing, Inc.

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Proper Copyright Notice Bars 'Innocent Infringer' Defense, 5th Circuit Says
03/02/2010
Warren's Washington Internet Daily

Slap a copyright warning on a CD and the law's 'innocent infringer' defense vanishes for any infringing activity, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week in a long-running P2P case. The panel overturned part of a San Antonio ruling that said Whitney Harper's claimed ignorance of copyright law in downloading songs 'presented a disputed issue of material fact' suitable for trial (WID Aug 12/08 p4). Record labels then sought and received the $200-per-work minimum damages available for innocent infringement, but the parties appealed. A P2P defense lawyer not involved in the case said the 5th Circuit was misinterpreting in the statute the term 'access' to a copyright notice.

A teenager when her file-sharing was captured in 2004, Harper said she thought P2P downloading was comparable to Internet radio. She relied on Section 504(c)(2) of the Copyright Act, which provides the $200 minimum where an infringer shows she 'was not aware and had no reason to believe' that such behavior was infringing. Section 402(d) preempts innocent-infringer if the infringer has 'access' to a phonorecord with a proper notice.

The panel said Harper couldn't challenge the sufficiency of the evidence that the songs in question were present on her computer. She had reinstalled the operating system after P2P investigator MediaSentry took screenshots of her shared folder, erasing most traces of the songs, but Harper didn't deny downloading the songs. The panel didn't address the legitimacy of the labels' making-available theory of infringement without transfer, because it said Harper didn't challenge the court's finding of infringement by way of downloading. By presenting 'in a cursory manner' her constitutional challenge to the $750 statutory minimum damages in the Copyright Act, Harper waived the right to assert it, the court said.

The San Antonio court dismissed the notion that access to a commercial CD with a copyright notice was sufficient to show that a defendant 'knew that she was accessing copyright material from an entity that did not have permission to distribute such material,' the P2P network. Harper herself simply claimed she was 'too young and naive' to associate notice on a CD with downloaded music. But 'the plain language of the statute shows that the infringer's knowledge or intent does not affect its application,' the 5th Circuit said: 'Lack of legal sophistication' isn't a defense. Publishers 'trade the extra burden of providing copyright notice for absolute protection' against an innocent-infringer. The San Antonio court must award the sought statutory damages, $750 per work, the panel ruled.

'The mere fact that a copy exists somewhere on the planet with a copyright notice does not preclude' Harper's defense, and doesn't count as 'access,' said New York-based P2P defense lawyer and blogger Ray Beckerman. The 5th Circuit wrongly assumed Harper had access to copies with a proper notice, a question for the jury, he said.

The main value of the 5th Circuit ruling is to 'reaffirm what most courts have said' about legal naivete as a poor defense in many areas of law, a media industry lawyer told us. Innocent infringement is among a handful of 'highly unlikely defenses' that have come up mostly in the RIAA's P2P litigation, and as a result few courts have ruled on its contours. The innocence defense was designed for defendants who 'made a good-faith effort to get authorization' to use a work but somehow came up short, the lawyer said. 'Access' in the statute means the work was available in the 'environment' around a defendant, such as a local retail store or radio. 'If [Harper] lives near a Wal-Mart, she has access. It's trying to be cute in an argument,' the lawyer said.

The scope of the innocence defense was actually decided in a 7th Circuit case, 2005's BMG v. Gonzalez, Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, told us. The 5th Circuit decision mentions Gonzalez but not in the context of innocent-infringer -- the 7th Circuit treated the 'access' question as a foregone conclusion, given the availability of works with copyright notices. The law says 'if a work in the stream of commerce bears the copyright notice, all infringers are constructively on notice' even if it's not attached to the copy they acquire, Goldman said. The innocence defense will 'rarely be useful' to defendants even if they succeed because of the $200 minimum and judicial discretion to raise that sum, he said -- challenging the constitutionality of statutory damages is a better strategy. -- Greg Piper

Copyright © 2010 Warren Publishing, Inc.

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/01/2010
Industry Standard, The

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent blog post , Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed antitrust complaints against Google with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the complaints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged Microsoft antitrust campaign against Google . Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct.

"It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves," a Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal .

Don't Look At Us . . . Mostly

In a blog post on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about "Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors."

But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current antitrust complaints against Google. Instead, Heiner says some "concerned companies" have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when "antitrust concerns appear to be substantial."

It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any antitrust complaints against Google.

Vertical Search Is (Sometimes) Spam

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current antitrust complaints against Google -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the company did tell The New York Times it "penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam." Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect "content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue." Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it?

So what do you say? Is Microsoft orchestrating a campaign against Google, or does the search giant need more oversight from antitrust regulators?

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul ) or on Google Buzz .

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/01/2010
Network World - Online

Google deflects complaints by European firms with Microsoft ties; Microsoft notes Google's "exclusionary" tactics.

By Ian Paul, PC World

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent , Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed antitrust complaints against Google with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the complaints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged Microsoft antitrust campaign against Google. Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct.

"It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves," a Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal .

Don't Look At Us . . . Mostly

In a on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about "Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors."

But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current antitrust complaints against Google. Instead, Heiner says some "concerned companies" have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when "antitrust concerns appear to be substantial."

It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any antitrust complaints against Google.

Vertical Search Is (Sometimes) Spam

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current antitrust complaints against Google -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the company did tell The New York Times it "penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam." Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect "content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue." Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it?

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft | View Clip
03/01/2010
PC World - Online

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google in the

Illustration: Steve Lyons

online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

In a recent , Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed antitrust complaints against Google with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the complaints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged Microsoft antitrust campaign against Google. Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct.

"It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves," a Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.

In a on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about "Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors."

But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current antitrust complaints against Google. Instead, Heiner says some "concerned companies" have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when "antitrust concerns appear to be substantial."

It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any antitrust complaints against Google.

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current antitrust complaints against Google -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the company did tell The New York Timesit "penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam." Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect "content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue." Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it?

So what do you say? Is Microsoft orchestrating a campaign against Google, or does the search giant need more oversight from antitrust regulators?

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Antitrust Rhetoric Heats Up Between Google, Microsoft (PC World) | View Clip
03/01/2010
Yahoo! News

A war of words is heating up between Google, Microsoft and a host of smaller sites over in the online search market. A variety of news outlets and blogs are reporting on allegations that Microsoft may be engaging in a proxy war against Google, using smaller companies to fight its battles.

The Allegations

In a recent blog post, Google discussed Microsoft's ties to two European Websites that have filed with the European Commission. Although the search giant did not come out and accuse Microsoft of having a hand in the comp laints, the implication that Microsoft was somehow involved was broadly understood.

Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has also written about an alleged . Goldman pointed to the fact that two small U.S.-based companies -- MyTriggers and TradeComet -- hired the legal firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP to represent their antitrust concerns against Google. Microsoft, Goldman said, is a longtime client of Cadwalader for antitrust issues.

Look At Them

Google may have been unwilling to accuse Microsoft of any behind-the-scenes shenanigans last week, but on Monday Google's allegations were a little more direct. "It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves," a Google spokesperson told . Don't Look At Us . . . Mostly

In a blog post on Friday, Dave Heiner, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, called Google out on its finger-pointing. Heiner sticks to the issues, arguing that Microsoft is concerned about "Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors." But Heiner never really denies Microsoft's ties over current . Instead, Heiner says some "concerned companies" have turned to Microsoft for advice in apparent antitrust issues against Google. Microsoft's advice to these companies is to talk to the relevant competition law authorities when "antitrust concerns appear to be substantial." It's worth pointing out, however, that Microsoft flatly denied to the Journal that it had orchestrated any . Vertical Search Is (Sometimes) Spam

Two of the Internet search companies involved in the current -- Foundem and Ejustice.fr -- are both known as vertical search companies. Vertical search basically means these sites are focused on content for a specific subject or category; Foundem is a price comparison shopping Website and Ejustice helps users find links to legal information in France.

Both sites say they have been harmed financially, because of low and penalizing Google search rankings. Google hasn't commented specifically on these cases, but the it "penalizes some, but not all, vertical search engines because they are essentially spam." Google's reasoning for penalizing some vertical search engines, according to the Times, is that the purpose of these sites is to collect "content and links from other sites to generate traffic and ad revenue." Funny thing is, that sounds a lot like what Google does too, doesn't it? So what do you say? Is Microsoft orchestrating a campaign against Google, or does the search giant need more oversight from antitrust regulators?

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Arthur Hayes Jr., 76; Led F.D.A. in Tylenol Case
03/01/2010
New York Times

Arthur Hayes Jr., who while leading the Food and Drug Administration during the Reagan administration helped calm consumer fears after a Tylenol poisoning case and, amid some controversy, approved the use of the artificial sweetener found in Equal and Nutrasweet, died Feb. 11 in Danbury, Conn. He was 76 and lived in Oxford, Conn.

The cause was leukemia, his son, Arthur III, said.

Dr. Hayes, a pharmacological researcher, was appointed commissioner of the F.D.A. by President Ronald Reagan in April 1981. He served until August 1983.

The biggest crisis faced by the agency under Dr. Hayes was a nationwide alarm in 1982 caused by the deaths of seven people in the Chicago area who had taken Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide. The case remains unsolved. Under Dr. Hayes's leadership, the government and the drug industry responded by developing the first federal regulations requiring tamper-resistant packaging for all over-the-counter drugs.

In 1981, Dr. Hayes granted approval for the use of the sugar substitute aspartame in dry foods and as a tabletop sweetener. Research had found that aspartame was associated with high rates of cancers in rats that had been given large doses, starting at what would be the equivalent of four to five 20-ounce bottles of diet soda a day for a 150-pound person.

Dr. Hayes insisted that there was no need for people to avoid the sweetener.

Marketed as NutraSweet (when used as a food additive) and Equal (the tabletop version), aspartame is now also used in products like soft drinks, breakfast cereals, pudding mixes and gum. Research done after Dr. Hayes's time as commissioner indicated that aspartame can sometimes cause incapacitating headaches and even seizures.

Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. was born in Highland Park, Mich., on July 18, 1933, one of four children of Arthur and Florence Gruber Hayes. His father was president of CBS Radio.

Dr. Hayes received his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1955 from Santa Clara University and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, earning a degree in philosophy, politics and economics in 1957. He returned to the United States to study medicine and graduated from Cornell University Medical School in 1964. He served in the Army Medical Corps from 1965 to 1967.

From 1967 to 1981, Dr. Hayes was an assistant professor of medicine and pharmacology at Cornell. He later became director of clinical pharmacology at the Pennsylvania State University medical school. After leaving the F.D.A., he was dean of New York Medical College and, in 1986, was named president of E. M. Pharmaceuticals.

Besides his son, Arthur, he is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Barbara Anne Carey; two daughters, Lisa Hayes and Kathy Saracino; two sisters, Mary Ann Kelley and Florence Hayes; his brother, Joseph; and eight grandchildren.

PHOTO: Arthur Hayes Jr.

Copyright © 2010 The New York Times Company

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Arthur Hayes Jr., Who Led F.D.A. in Tylenol Case, Is Dead at 76 | View Clip
03/01/2010
New York Times - Online

Arthur Hayes Jr., who while leading the Food and Drug Administration during the Reagan administration helped calm consumer fears after a Tylenol poisoning case and, amid some controversy, approved the use of the artificial sweetener found in Equal and Nutrasweet, died Feb. 11 in Danbury, Conn. He was 76 and lived in Oxford, Conn.

The cause was leukemia, his son, Arthur III, said.

Dr. Hayes, a pharmacological researcher, was appointed commissioner of the F.D.A. by President Ronald Reagan in April 1981. He served until August 1983.

The biggest crisis faced by the agency under Dr. Hayes was a nationwide alarm in 1982 caused by the deaths of seven people in the Chicago area who had taken Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide. The case remains unsolved. Under Dr. Hayes's leadership, the government and the drug industry responded by developing the first federal regulations requiring tamper-resistant packaging for all over-the-counter drugs.

In 1981, Dr. Hayes granted approval for the use of the sugar substitute aspartame in dry foods and as a tabletop sweetener. Research had found that aspartame was associated with high rates of cancers in rats that had been given large doses, starting at what would be the equivalent of four to five 20-ounce bottles of diet soda a day for a 150-pound person.

Dr. Hayes insisted that there was no need for people to avoid the sweetener.

Marketed as NutraSweet (when used as a food additive) and Equal (the tabletop version), aspartame is now also used in products like soft drinks, breakfast cereals, pudding mixes and gum. Research done after Dr. Hayes's time as commissioner indicated that aspartame can sometimes cause incapacitating headaches and even seizures.

Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. was born in Highland Park, Mich., on July 18, 1933, one of four children of Arthur and Florence Gruber Hayes. His father was president of CBS Radio.

Dr. Hayes received his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1955 from Santa Clara University and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, earning a degree in philosophy, politics and economics in 1957. He returned to the United States to study medicine and graduated from Cornell University Medical School in 1964. He served in the Army Medical Corps from 1965 to 1967.

From 1967 to 1981, Dr. Hayes was an assistant professor of medicine and pharmacology at Cornell. He later became director of clinical pharmacology at the Pennsylvania State University medical school. After leaving the F.D.A., he was dean of New York Medical College and, in 1986, was named president of E. M. Pharmaceuticals.

Besides his son, Arthur, he is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Barbara Anne Carey; two daughters, Lisa Hayes and Kathy Saracino; two sisters, Mary Ann Kelley and Florence Hayes; his brother, Joseph; and eight grandchildren.

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Google, Microsoft Spar on Antitrust | View Clip
03/01/2010
Wall Street Journal

...harass Google on the antitrust front," says Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California. Like Mr. Rule, other players from Microsoft's...

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Readers React: 'Market big enough for both' | View Clip
03/01/2010
Wall Street Journal - Online

Seeking $335,000 in unpaid advertising bills, Google Inc. filed suit against a small Internet site in Ohio in October. The complaint was so routine it was just two sentences long.

Google never expected the response it got. Last month, the small Internet site countered with a 24-page antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search-engine giant of a litany of monopolistic abuses. Antitrust lawyer Charles 'Rick' Rule, represents Microsoft in 1998.

But what really caught Google's attention was the Internet site's legal counsel: It was Charles 'Rick' Rule, long the chief outside counsel on competition issues for Google archrival Microsoft Corp. 'My reaction was, 'What the heck is this?' ' says Mark Sheriff, an Ohio attorney who represents Google, speaking of the involvement of Mr. Rule and his powerhouse law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, whose antitrust practice is based in Washington, D.C. 'It's not every day that a big D.C. law firm like Cadwalader gets involved in a collections lawsuit in Ohio.' Mr. Rule also represents another small Internet firm that has brought an antitrust suit against Google. Meanwhile, in Europe, following complaints about Google that came from, among others, a Microsoft subsidiary in Germany, the European Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust inquiry into the search giant.

To Google, the pattern is clear: It contends Microsoft is embarking on a proxy war against it through various apparently unrelated cases, preparing the ground for a broader antitrust assault of some sort on Google's dominance in the online world. 'It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves, learn more about our business practices, and use that information to develop a broader antitrust complaint against us,' said a Google spokesman, Adam Kovacevich.

Microsoft calls that nonsense. It says it neither initiated nor is funding the small Internet firms' antitrust lawsuits. The plaintiffs and their legal counsel also deny that Microsoft orchestrated the actions. The Internet firms say they chose Cadwalader and Mr. Rule on their own.

Microsoft does say that a growing number of consumers, companies and governments have concerns about Google's marketplace dominance. 'It's no secret that we share many of these concerns,' said a Microsoft spokesman, Jack Evans. 'It shouldn't come as any surprise then that we frequently hear from parties who believe they've been harmed by Google, or that we would encourage anyone who appears to have a legitimate complaint to contact the appropriate authorities.' The legal maneuvering, at a minimum, shows that Googlewith nearly 75% of the Internet-search advertising market in America and over 90% in France and Germanyhas now become the high-tech giant that some would like to hobble.

There's something of a role reversal here. For many years, it was Microsoft that had to fight off chargesfrom the Justice Department and from European authoritiesof abusing its market power to crush rivals. The official challenges followed numerous complaints from competing software companies, such as Web-browser maker Netscape Communications Corp.

Some legal experts think Microsoft now is taking a page from those firms' playbook to try to stir up official scrutiny of its own nemesis, Google. 'Microsoft is doing a lot to try and harass Google on the antitrust front,' says Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California.

Like Mr. Rule, other players from Microsoft's past struggles are reappearing in the new battleground. Gary Reback was an attorney for Netscape who once helped spur the U.S. to investigate Microsoft. Now it's Google he is going after. Through a group he formed called the Open Book Alliance, he is challenging Google's 2008 settlement with authors and publishers concerning electronic books, saying it gives Google an unfair advantage. The Justice Department is reviewing the deal.

Mr. Reback says this attack was his idea but his group later sought and received financial support from Microsoft, among others. The antitrust rap on Microsoft was that it bundled its Web browser with its operating system, giving its own software an advantage over that of competitors. Mr. Reback claims to see an 'eerie' parallel in what Google does today as it moves into areas like video, email, maps and cellphone ads. 'They are taking over new technologies and markets, all the things I saw and worried about back in the '90s,' he says. 'It's Yogi Berra's deja vu all over again.' Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has often said greater antitrust scrutiny is inevitable as the company grows, making it more careful about some moves, though not holding it back. Mr. Kovacevich, the Google spokesman, says, 'We work hard to put our users' interests first and to compete fair and square in the market.' Microsoft has been active in getting a different point of view across, often behind the scenes. It created and is the main financier of a Brussels-based group that raises concern about Google's online dominance. Called the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, or ICOMP, the group has distributed documents that suggest Google is manipulating its search results and algorithms to hurt competitors and reward business partners.

ICOMP says it represents a broad range of firms hurt by Google's dominance. Yet some members don't seem much concerned. One ICOMP signatory is a Spanish artisanal cheese maker called Artequeso, whose owner, Alfonso

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Some students plan spring break in Haiti, despite warnings | View Clip
03/01/2010
USA Today - Online

David Adewumi's plans for spring break don't look like those of most other college juniors. He won't be heading to a resort town for a week of beaches and bars, or home for a week of naps and TV-watching.

Instead, he and 10 other students from Pennsylvania State University will fly south to Haiti, on an earthquake relief trip. They expect to spend a week helping with minor medical care, food distribution and shelter building. "We know we're a tiny Band-Aid on a huge wound," he said. "But we're still doing what we can to help."

While the idea of a group of students taking short trips to impoverished and natural disaster-prone places is nothing new, travels to Haiti this spring are being discouraged by many colleges and aid groups. Less than a month and a half since a devastating earthquake hit the nation, its wounds are still fresh, food and water are still scarce, and, experts argue, the only volunteers needed are people with specific skills.

At Inside Higher Ed: Gender gap in study abroad?

More coverage: Shifts in study abroad in tough economic times

Even so, the Penn State group and many other American college students are determined to lend a hand in the coming weeks.

A large part of the students' motivation is altruism, said Lou Manza, a psychology professor at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. But he worries that "some students aren't necessarily getting involved because they want to help — they see this as something that will look good on a resume or be a great story to tell."

The "cool factor" of an adventurous trip to an unsafe place could be a driving force for some students, he said. "They're still at that age where they're trying to create impressions of themselves. … I wouldn't be surprised if that's what's motivating some folks."

mtvU, the college-centric wing of the cable television empire, has homed in on the "cool" potential of a spring break spent helping Haiti. A page on its website asks students planning to do relief work to send in an e-mail message with their plans, and some photographs of themselves. The March after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, MTV co-sponsored spring break trips to Biloxi, Miss., and Foley, Ala. The network did not respond to requests for comment.

The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is telling inexperienced volunteers to wait at least a few months before traveling to Haiti, said Suzanne Brooks, the center's director. "I don't think it's impossible that a year from now for spring break there may be some programs up and running, but I really don't think it makes sense for this year."

Break Away, a national group that helps college students organize alternative break trips, has told its college chapters not to arrange trips there until conditions are better. "There is a lot of work that needs to be done by people who have skills to help with the immediate response to disaster before unskilled groups can start going there," said Samantha Giacobozzi, the organization's programs director. "The resources that would be utilized by alternative breakers would be better used by Haitians and people doing essential work. There isn't enough food, housing, water for everyone there already, so unless you have something to add, it doesn't make sense to go."

Adewumi, a Spanish major who a few years ago spent six months on a mission to the Dominican Republic, said his group is going to Haiti because they are needed there. "We didn't invite ourselves to come. An organization on the ground decided they needed a certain number of nonskilled laborers. If they didn't want us, we wouldn't be there." The trip is being coordinated by Adventures in Missions, a Christian group.

The University of Michigan, the University of Florida and many other colleges and universities won't permit student groups to travel to Haiti for spring break. Without institutional support, students who do want to go have to find other ways of getting there. Major secular groups like Habitat for Humanity and Partners in Health aren't taking unskilled volunteers, but some religious groups and institutions are sponsoring trips.

Students from Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian university, plan to spend spring break working with a religious group called Mission of Hope Haiti, which runs a church, a school, an orphanage and a clinic.

Groups from the University of the South (better known as Sewanee) have traveled to Haiti since 2004 and already had a spring break trip planned when the earthquake struck. Rather than canceling the trip — as many colleges have — the organizers decided still to go, but to adjust the itinerary to meet the needs of people on the ground there, said S. Dixon Myers, coordinator of outreach ministries. Students will be there between March 10 and 21.

Not everyone traveling to Haiti for spring break is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the island.

Jean Montes, an associate professor of music and director of orchestral studies at Loyola University New Orleans, will travel to Haiti during spring break in late March. He'll bring with him about 10 students — some of Haitian descent — to deliver musical instruments to Haitian children and assess the damage to the school where he learned the cello, Port-Au-Prince's Holy Trinity School of Music.

Though instruments aren't the most immediate need that Haitians have, Montes said he considers it a way "to give direct relief to those kids who lost everything."

The first team of students and faculty from the international rescue and relief program at Union College in Lincoln, Neb., arrived in Haiti less than a week after the earthquake hit. Two other groups of fewer than a dozen people have been there in the last few weeks, and a larger group plans to go during the college's spring break in mid-March.

Caitlin Robinett, a third-year law student at Santa Clara University, spent a few weeks in Haiti this winter working on a research project with a classmate. They've returned this week for spring break with soap and clothing, among other items, requested by the people who hosted them during their visit. "Having had so much close contact, we just want to go there and hug our friends," she said. "We wanted to bring them what we could to help."

Other students asked to join the trip, but "we told them this wasn't the time to go there for the first time," Robinett said. "We're just going to bring in what they need and get out."

For those who want to help but don't have skills that make them desirable volunteers this spring, the obvious means of contribution is financial. Brooks, of CIDI, is urging volunteers to help from afar, whether by raising funds, counseling Haitians in the United States or providing legal aid.

After the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that Haitian nationals would be eligible to apply for temporary protected status, the University of Miami School of Law's Health and Elder Law Clinic quickly developed a system largely staffed by students to help refugees with the paperwork. "Miami has a large Haitian population and there was a tremendous outpouring of goodwill and desire to help, so it seemed like this would be a useful way for law students to use their abilities," said JoNel Newman, an associate professor of clinical legal education who is the clinic's director.

An unexpected call from someone at Stanford Law School expanded the scope of the clinic's project. A group of students there had planned to spend spring break in Haiti but decided that it didn't make sense in the aftermath of the earthquake, and instead wanted to help Haitians in the United States. They offered to help staff the clinic for a week in March.

Groups from other law schools got in touch, too, and now Miami will spend the whole month of March hosting visiting students. In addition to those from Miami and Stanford, visitors from the New England School of Law, the University of San Francisco and the University of Memphis will do week-long rotations at the clinic.

But it won't be a spring break without fun. "Our students are very excited for the visitors," Newman said. "We'll have dinners, take them to Little Haiti one afternoon to both circulate information about the clinics and have some Creole food."

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Spring Break in a Disaster Zone | View Clip
03/01/2010
Inside Higher Ed

David Adewumi's plans for spring break don't look like those of most other college juniors. He won't be heading to a resort town for a week of beaches and bars, or home for a week of naps and TV-watching.

Instead, he and 10 other students from Pennsylvania State University will fly south to Haiti, on an earthquake relief trip. They expect to spend a week helping with minor medical care, food distribution and shelter building. “We know we're a tiny Band-Aid on a huge wound,” he said. “But we're still doing what we can to help.”

While the idea of a group of students taking short trips to impoverished and natural disaster-prone places is nothing new, travels to Haiti this spring are being discouraged by many colleges and aid groups. Less than a month and a half since a devastating earthquake hit the nation, its wounds are still fresh, food and water are still scarce, and, experts argue, the only volunteers needed are people with specific skills.

Even so, the Penn State group and hundreds if not thousands of other American college students are determined to lend a hand in the coming weeks. (And more may be interested in traveling to Chile to aid with relief and rebuilding in the aftermath of the major earthquake that hit early on the morning of Feb. 27.)

A large part of the students' motivation is altruism, said Lou Manza, a psychology professor at Lebanon Valley College, in Pennsylvania. But he worries that “some students aren't necessarily getting involved because they want to help -- they see this as something that will look good on a resume or be a great story to tell.”

The “cool factor” of an adventurous trip to an unsafe place could be a driving force for some students, he said. “They're still at that age where they're trying to create impressions of themselves.... I wouldn't be surprised if that's what's motivating some folks.”

mtvU, the college-centric wing of the cable television empire, has homed in on the "cool" potential of a spring break spent helping Haiti. A page on its Web site asks students planning to do relief work to send an e-mail message with their plans (and some photographs of themselves) to a generic e-mail address. The March after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, MTV cosponsored spring break trips to Biloxi, Miss., and Foley, Ala. The network did not respond to requests for comment.

The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is telling inexperienced volunteers to wait at least a few months before traveling to Haiti, said Suzanne Brooks, the center's director. “I don't think it's impossible that a year from now for spring break there may be some programs up and running, but I really don't think it makes sense for this year.”

Break Away, a national group that helps college students organize alternative break trips, has told its college chapters not to arrange trips there until conditions are better. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done by people who have skills to help with the immediate response to disaster before unskilled groups can start going there,” said Samantha Giacobozzi, the organization's programs director. “The resources that would be utilized by alternative breakers would be better used by Haitians and people doing essential work. There isn't enough food, housing, water for everyone there already, so unless you have something to add, it doesn't make sense to go.”

A group of 20 to 25 students from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Howard University plan to arrive in Haiti on March 13 for a week of work training Haitians to build homes using earthbag building, a construction method that uses dirt-filled bags. Desta Anyiwo, a Maryland senior who's organizing the trip, said it's about "self-empowerment of Haitians" by teaching them a skill that they can use and teach to others. "It's assistance, not charity."

Though Anyiwo has researched earthbag building for a class, he's never actually done it. Before the trip, he and the other students will work with local experts to construct an earthbag structure on the College Park campus. Despite their lack of experience, the students will be helpful, people on the ground in Haiti have assured Anyiwo. "We have active contacts so we're not going in blind," he said. "That makes all the difference, working with other people so we're not going down there and dictating what to do."

Adewumi, the leader of the Penn State group, has also been assured that he and his classmates are wanted. “We didn't invite ourselves to come. An organization on the ground decided they needed a certain number of nonskilled laborers. If they didn't want us, we wouldn't be there.” The trip is being coordinated by Adventures in Missions, a Christian group.

The University of Michigan, the University of Florida and many other colleges and universities won't permit student groups to travel to Haiti for spring break. Without institutional support, students who do want to go have to find other ways of getting there. Major secular groups like Habitat for Humanity and Partners in Health aren't taking unskilled volunteers, but some religious groups and institutions are sponsoring trips.

Students from Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian university, plan to spend spring break working with a religious group called Mission of Hope Haiti, which runs a church, a school, an orphanage and a clinic.

Groups from the University of the South (better known as Sewanee) have traveled to Haiti since 2004 and already had a spring break trip planned when the earthquake struck. Rather than canceling the trip -- as many colleges have – the trip's organizers decided still to go, but to adjust the itinerary to meet the needs of people on the ground there, said S. Dixon Myers, coordinator of outreach ministries. Students will be there between March 10 and 21.

Not everyone traveling to Haiti for spring break is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the island.

Jean Montes, an associate professor of music and director of orchestral studies at Loyola University New Orleans, will travel to Haiti during spring break in late March. He'll bring with him about 10 students -- many of whom are of Haitian descent -- to deliver musical instruments to Haitian children and assess the damage to the school where he learned the cello, Port-Au-Prince's Holy Trinity School of Music.

Though instruments aren't the most immediate need that Haitians have, Montes said he considers it a way “to give direct relief to those kids who lost everything."

The first team of students and faculty from the international rescue and relief program at Union College in Lincoln, Neb., arrived in Haiti less than a week after the earthquake hit. Two other groups of fewer than a dozen people have been there in the last few weeks, and a larger group plans to go during the college's spring break in mid-March.

Caitlin Robinett, a third year law student at Santa Clara University, spent a few weeks in Haiti this winter working on a research project with a classmate. They've returned this week for spring break with soap and clothing, among other items, requested by the people who hosted them during their visit. "Having had so much close contact, we just want to go there and hug our friends," she said. "We wanted to bring them what we could to help."

Other students asked to join the trip, but "we told them this wasn't the time to go there for the first time," Robinett said. "We're just going to bring in what they need and get out."

For those who want to help but don't have any skills that make them desirable volunteers this spring, the obvious means of contribution is financial. Brooks, of CIDI, is urging volunteers to help from afar, whether by fund raising, counseling Haitians in the United States or providing legal aid.

After the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that Haitian nationals would be eligible to apply for temporary protected status, the University of Miami School of Law's Health and Elder Law Clinic quickly developed a system largely staffed by students to help refugees with the paperwork. “Miami has a large Haitian population and there was a tremendous outpouring of goodwill and desire to help, so it seemed like this would be a useful way for law students to use their abilities,” said JoNel Newman, an associate professor of clinical legal education who is the clinic's director.

An unexpected call from someone at Stanford Law School expanded the scope of the clinic's project. A group of students there had planned to spend spring break in Haiti but decided that it didn't make sense in the aftermath of the earthquake, and instead wanted to help Haitians in the United States. They offered to help staff the clinic for a week in March.

Groups from other law schools got in touch, too, and now Miami will spend the whole month of March hosting visiting students. In addition to those from Miami and Stanford, visitors from the New England School of Law, the University of San Francisco and the University of Memphis will do weeklong rotations at the clinic.

But it won't be a spring break without fun. “Our students are very excited for the visitors,” Newman said. “We'll have dinners, take them to Little Haiti one afternoon to both circulate information about the clinics and have some Creole food."

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Using the 4 D's to find more meaning and purpose in life | View Clip
03/01/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Using spiritual approaches to find more meaning, purpose, and vocation

Many people desire more meaning, purpose, and calling in life. Spiritual and religious perspectives help to provide at least some answers to questions of meaning, purpose, and a sense of calling and vocation. Many people find that their spiritual and religious beliefs, traditions, and community help to frame these existential questions and issues in a way that provides direction as well as solace and peace of mind.

My colleague at Santa Clara University, Professor Diane Dreher, and I recently published a chapter in an edited book of mine entitled, "Spirit, Science and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Praeger/Greenwood) that offers a "calling protocol." It uses the principles from the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius (founder of the Jesuits) to help people develop a better sense of vocation, calling, and purpose in their lives.

The calling protocol highlights the four D's: discovery, detachment, discernment, and direction. Discovery refers to the development of a better understanding of personal strengths or gifts. The positive psychology literature refers to these as "signature strengths." Getting a solid appreciation of one's gifts can then be used to determine how these gifts can best be enlisted to improve one's sense of meaning and purpose. For example, social skills, the ability to counsel others, musical talents, and organization skills are just a few examples of possible gifts or strengths that can be employed to improve quality of life and help find one's calling and vocation. It is important to have a realistic understanding of our gifts to maximize the odds that they can be used effectively.

Detachment refers to working to move away from problematic and sometimes debilitating behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes that prevent someone from understanding and nurturing their gifts. These behaviors and tendencies might include consumerism, greed, workaholism, alcoholism, dysfunctional relationships, low self esteem, fear, anxiety, and a variety of other damaging addictions and behavior patterns that distract us from our vocation and calling as well as prevent us from nurturing our gifts. These behaviors, attitudes, thoughts, and life circumstances are thus roadblocks to nurturing and using the gifts defined during the discovery phase.

Discernment refers to thinking through how we can best live our lives and use our gifts that might lead us to experiences of consolation rather than desolation. Consolation leads to peace, solace, and joy while desolation leads to depression, anxiety, and other damaging feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Thinking about and working through the process of discernment is needed to secure more meaning, purpose, and vocation in life. Discernment helps us to better appreciate how our gifts can be used productively and realistically in a way that gives us comfort and peace.

Direction refers to developing a vocational path to live a more meaningful and purposeful life. Direction is the action plan that emerges when the discernment process is complete. Spiritual direction within many religious traditions have used variations on these four steps to help their clients develop more calling, purpose and meaning in life. These strategies can also be used with people in general to develop a better life path.

Certainly the four D's defined above are not unique. Perhaps what is unique is the integration of a spiritual based mindset, in this example, within the Jesuit and Roman Catholic tradition, to help people find a way to better achieve a sense of calling, vocation, meaning, and purpose in their lives.

Doing the right thing for ourselves might include using the 4 D's to help us achieve more meaning, purpose, calling and vocation in life. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?

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Google, Microsoft Spar on Antitrust | View Clip
02/28/2010
Wall Street Journal

...harass Google on the antitrust front," says Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California. Like Mr. Rule, other players from Microsoft's...

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Italian court shows bad cyberjudgment | View Clip
02/28/2010
Journal Gazette - Online Bureau, The

ATLANTA – Distracted while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an e-mail from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or e-mail address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

And every once in a while, I spot a hard-to-find item on eBay that I want.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge’s order Wednesday “astonishing,” as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teen in Turin. They didn’t know him, didn’t photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by a group of high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months community service.

Nonetheless, Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former Chief Financial Officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got a suspended sentence of six months in jail. They are the first Internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favor of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.)

As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, Internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that might offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinize, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

So this means that Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous today.

If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

“Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,” he says. Goldman suspects it’s no coincidence that the U.S. is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

This is a country with a free-speech tradition dating to the Constitution and stretching forward through a 1996 law shielding Internet service providers from liability for content their users post.

“Congress has said it’s safe to be an innovator,” Goldman says.

Judge Magi has said it isn’t.

His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the Internet an ever-evolving creature – engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we couldn’t imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don’t know what it’s like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the Internet.

The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on Internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it’s no wonder it caused a furor in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world.

And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going. It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global viewership.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google aided in finding the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the Internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

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Italian court shows bad cyberjudgment
02/28/2010
Journal Gazette, The

Distracted while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an e-mail from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or e-mail address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

And every once in a while, I spot a hard-to-find item on eBay that I want.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order Wednesday "astonishing," as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teen in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by a group of high- schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former Chief Financial Officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got a suspended sentence of six months in jail. They are the first Internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favor of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.)

As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, Internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that might offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinize, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

So this means that Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous today.

If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

"Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation," he says. Goldman suspects it's no coincidence that the U.S. is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user- generated content.

This is a country with a free-speech tradition dating to the Constitution and stretching forward through a 1996 law shielding Internet service providers from liability for content their users post.

"Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator," Goldman says.

Judge Magi has said it isn't.

His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the Internet an ever-evolving creature - engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we couldn't imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the Internet.

The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on Internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furor in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world.

And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going. It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global viewership.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google aided in finding the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the Internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Copyright © 2010 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google execs | View Clip
02/28/2010
WA Today.com.au

Distracted while thinking about how to begin this column, I clicked on an email from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or email address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order last week ''astonishing'', as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teenager in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months' community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favour of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.) As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinise, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous. If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

''Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,'' he says. Goldman suspects it is no coincidence that the US is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

The US is a country with a free-speech tradition, and a 1996 law shields internet service providers from liability for content their users post. ''Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,'' says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't. His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the internet an ever-evolving creature - engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we could not imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furore in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. Even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going.

It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global audience.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google helped find the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

If Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist.

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Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives | View Clip
02/28/2010
Brisbane Times

ISTRACTED while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an email from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or email address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order last week ''astonishing'', as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teenager in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months' community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favour of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.) As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinise, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous. If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

''Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,'' he says. Goldman suspects it is no coincidence that the US is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

The US is a country with a free-speech tradition, and a 1996 law shields internet service providers from liability for content their users post. ''Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,'' says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't. His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the internet an ever-evolving creature - engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we could not imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furore in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going.

It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global audience.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google helped find the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist.

2 people are reading this now.

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Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives | View Clip
02/28/2010
The Age

DISTRACTED while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an email from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or email address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order last week ''astonishing'', as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teenager in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months' community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favour of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.) As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinise, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous. If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

''Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,'' he says. Goldman suspects it is no coincidence that the US is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

The US is a country with a free-speech tradition, and a 1996 law shields internet service providers from liability for content their users post. ''Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,'' says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't. His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the internet an ever-evolving creature - engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we could not imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furore in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going.

It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global audience.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google helped find the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist.

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Italy risks internet Stone Age with trial of Google executives | View Clip
02/28/2010
Sydney Morning Herald - Online

DISTRACTED while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an email from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or email address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order last week ''astonishing'', as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teenager in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months' community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (In another context, I recently argued in favour of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.) As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinise, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous. If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

''Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,'' he says. Goldman suspects it is no coincidence that the US is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

The US is a country with a free-speech tradition, and a 1996 law shields internet service providers from liability for content their users post. ''Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,'' says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't. His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the internet an ever-evolving creature - engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we could not imagine a few minutes ago.

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furore in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going.

It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global audience.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google helped find the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist.

Source: The Age

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Italy's Google verdict threatens companies | View Clip
02/28/2010
Gulf News

If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started

An employee rides a Segway at Google Inc's headquarters.

Image Credit: Bloomberg

Distracted while thinking about how to begin this column, I clicked on an e-mail from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or Friendster.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order Sunday "astonishing," as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teen in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by a group of high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months community service.

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinise, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship. So this means that internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous today.

A death sentence?

If that were the law in the United States, it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

"Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation," he says. Goldman suspects it's no coincidence that the United States is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

"[The US] Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator," says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't.

His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the internet an ever-evolving creature — engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we couldn't imagine a few minutes ago.

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READERS' LETTERS
02/28/2010
San Jose Mercury News

JUDGE'S INTEGRITY IS UNFORTUNATELY RARE

I had mixed emotions after reading about Judge Eugene Hyman's decision to declare Ramon Vasquez factually innocent (Page 1B, Feb. 25).

Proud, perplexed and concerned. Proud that our justice system worked for Vasquez; and proud to know Judge Hyman -- a man of heart, soul, mind and integrity -- since we were classmates at Santa Clara University Law School more than 30 years ago. Perplexed that a judge's ruling is deemed courageous and exceptional, and hence newsworthy, when a jurist does the right thing. In this instance, simply having the spine to stand up to the Santa Clara DA's office.

Finally, I'm concerned that Judge Hyman will be the DA's next target for a blanket "boycott." We need more judges like Gene Hyman who are willing to adjudicate equitably and humanely. Vasquez is just one of too many innocent people caught up in our justice system; and even after being acquitted or having their charges dropped, are otherwise left to live their lives with a Scarlet Letter (A for "arrested") on their head.

Marty Feldman

Los Gatos

EXAMINE THE BASIS OF HEALTH CARE COSTS

It should be clear that the unprecedented premium increases called for by insurance companies are not cost-based, but are based on expectations of government-required decreases. This is the markup to give the consumer a view of reductions offered later to be generous, even though the end figure is likely to be larger than today. This is likely to backfire toward the public getting behind some type of public option that causes competitive pressures. It would be interesting to find out what increases are being imposed on the health care insurance premiums charged in the congressional plans.

Stanley Weiss

Los Altos Hills

'CUSS FREE' MAY HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT

More than likely the goal of the "Cuss Free Week" passed by the California State Assembly (Page 1B, Feb. 26) was a reach-out to constituents and responding to the concerns of someone within Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's district. However, California is facing a huge budget shortage, further cuts in education and public services. Is this the most appropriate use of their time? It is time that our legislators realize they have one specific duty that will improve the morale of our citizens, and that is to provide us with a fair and balanced budget ... on time.

If they don't realize that their action in passing a "Cuss Free Week" is going to result in an increase in swearing, they certainly don't have their fingers on the pulse of the electorate.

Michael J Melligan

Campbell

PRIEST IS A COMFORT AT VALLEY MEDICAL

The presence of a priest (Page 1A, Feb. 25) in moments of physical and/or emotional pain as well as at the moment of death lies at the heart of the religious need of many Christian believers. This is particularly true for members of the Catholic Church who, in the sacrament of anointing of the sick, find the strength and peace to approach their passage from this world to the presence of the Lord. Depriving Catholic patients at Valley Medical Center of the attention and availability of Catholic priests as well as the celebration of the Mass -- attended also by members of the staff and outside visitors -- is a decision that affects the spiritual well-being of patients at that medical institution. I hope that this decision will be revised by members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors as they realize that the long tradition of Catholic ministry in their institution deeply enhanced the physical and spiritual quality of life of many human beings placed under their care.

Celia Mendez

San Jose

PRESERVE WETLANDS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY

The fact that elected officials from nine Bay Area counties oppose the proposed Cargill city to be build on historic wetlands in Redwood City says it all. The San Francisco Bay belongs to all of us, and the Cargill proposal to build on it should be rejected now rather than later.

Pat Walker

Menlo Park

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT ON HEALTH CARE

While watching the health care summit, I was appalled to hear Republican after Republican repeat that we need to "start over." The aim is clearly to kill reform by endless debate and delay.

Health care reform is not a luxury, not a nice idea if we think we can afford it, but an urgent necessity for our country. After months of discussion and argument, reasonable proposals from both parties have been put into the plan published by the president. It will vastly increase access, eliminate the worst insurance industry abuses, and give us an opportunity to begin bringing costs down. It won't solve every problem, but we can't afford not to move ahead now.

Shalini Venkatesh

Santa Clara

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Study: 200 mothers kill their children a year in the U.S. | View Clip
02/28/2010
Journal News - Online

The cases shock us: Andrea Yates drowning her five children in the bathroom of her suburban Houston home, Susan Smith letting her car roll into a South Carolina lake with her two sons strapped into their car seats.

But mothers kill their children more often than many people realize.

One study by the American Anthropological Association put the number at more than 200 cases each year in the U.S.

What is unusual is strangling an adult child, as Stacey Pagli is accused of doing Monday morning on the Manhattanville College campus.

Even experts who study the phenomenon are surprised.

"The vast majority of cases that I've seen in the universe of mothers who kill their children involve mothers killing much younger children," said Michelle Oberman, the co-author of "Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms from Susan Smith to the 'Prom Mom.' "

"I don't think I know of another case in which a mother kills a child who is an adult," she said.

The body of Pagli's 18-year-old daughter, Marissa, was found in the family's apartment in staff housing at the Purchase campus around noon. Pagli's husband, John, is the college's maintenance supervisor and Marissa Pagli was a first-year student there.

The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter, Gianna, whom the mother dropped off at day care before returning home around 9 a.m.

That is when she is accused of killing her older daughter, a volleyball player at the college, and trying to hang herself, twice. She attempted suicide in the family's apartment immediately afterward and again after she was taken to the Westchester County jail, officials said.

Mental illness feasible

"I would assume that this looks more like a standard murder case in which you have possible defenses of mental illnesses or insanity," said Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. "The fact that the mother is continuing to try to kill herself speaks to similarities with those cases."

Louis B. Schlesinger, a forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said that when women kill, it is most often within the home. He agreed that it was uncommon for a mother to be accused of strangling a teenage daughter.

"The way the killing took place is unusual and indicates something more is going on," Schlesinger said. "It's hard to kill an 18-year-old that way because the 18-year-old has the ability to fight back."

Oberman said mothers who kill their children often fit predictable patterns:

• Young mothers who kill newborns, typically after concealing their pregnancy and delivering the child alone in a bathroom.

• Mothers who neglect their children, leaving them unattended, for example, or failing to get medical help when they are ill. These cases are the most common and usually involve young mothers who have several children whom they are raising alone.

• Those who physically abuse their children, most often over time.

• Those who fail to protect their children from abusive men, usually a husband or boyfriend. Men are rarely charged in similar circumstances, Oberman noted.

• Women who purposefully kill their children as a result of postpartum mental illness, ranging from depression to psychosis to a personality disorder.

"The mothers decide, 'Okay, I'm going to kill myself and the best way to protect my children is to take them with me,' which indicates something that's clearly irrational and deranged but also at some level is maternal," Oberman said. "This case doesn't sound like that."

County's worst case

Westchester County's worst case of maternal filicide, the formal name for such killings, occurred in Port Chester in 1990.

Thirty-five-year-old Maria Amaya slashed the throats of her four children because she feared they were being corrupted by drugs and sex.

Amaya, who had suffered from depression since she was in her 20s, then tried to kill herself by drinking drain cleaner and stabbing herself in the throat. She was committed to a state psychiatric hospital in Orange County.

The more recent case in the northern suburbs took place in June 2006 when a New York City woman drove the family's minivan off a cliff at Bear Mountain State Park with her two children belted into their car seats.

Hejin Han, 35, died but her children survived. Her husband, Victor, who admitted he knew his wife was depressed, was later sentenced to three years probation for failing to protect his children.

At the beginning of this month, a Manhattan socialite checked into a midtown hotel with her 8-year-old son and gave him a fatal dose of pills, police said.

Gigi Jordan, who survived a suicide attempt, left a note expressing her love for the boy, police said.

A Canadian survey found that women and men kill young family members at comparable rates — one of few crimes where there is little difference between genders.

A 1996 study from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, indicated that 80 percent of women who murdered their children were suffering from depression, schizophrenia, mental retardation or some other serious mental illness. Only 20 percent were receiving treatment at the time of the killings, according to the study.

Records obtained by The Journal News show that Stacey Pagli's father and brother both killed themselves, leading to questions about mental illness in the family.

Tragedy magnified

Jane Aoyama-Martin, the executive director of the Pace Women's Justice Center, said that people have trouble understanding how terrible violence can occur in a family that might seem happy and healthy.

"The neighbors always say, 'They're such a lovely family. I didn't know,' (but) because what happened is so horrific you know something must have been happening in the household, but who knows what," she said. "It's distressing to me knowing that there are support services available in the community, but people don't access them or don't know about those services for a variety of reasons."

She said that shame and fear of others finding out about a family's problems sometimes prevent its members from seeking help.

Chitra Raghavan, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Marissa Pagli's killing seemed to better fit a pattern of men who kill their wives or girlfriends then themselves — typically men who are extremely depressed.

"I'd want to know whether she was depressed, if so, why, what was going on between them, if she had any period in her life where she had any dissociative or psychotic experience," Raghavan said.

"It could possibly be less to do with the daughter — and it's all very sad — and more to do with her being extremely depressed and not seeing reality," she said.

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/27/2010
Thomson Reuters - UK - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said. Continued...

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/26/2010
MSN Money (US)

Stocks mentioned in this articleCitigroup Inc () Stock Quote, Chart, News,

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

© 2010 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/26/2010
Computerworld

Network World - College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-Malware section.

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/25/2010
Washington Post - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/25/2010
MortgageNewsDaily

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of “underwater” mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market. He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages. Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market. The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties. Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations. “I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things,” he said. “Some...

Source: Reuters

Posted

The Day Ahead: Risk Aversion Back on Before Durable Goods, Jobless Claims Data

MBS CLOSE: Minimal Losses On The Day

MBS Commentary

Loan Demand Falls Again. Mortgage Rates Unchanged Today

Mortgage Rate Watch

MBS AFTERNOON: Out Of Danger, But ....

MBS Commentary

Freddie Mac: Losses Narrowed in 2009. Enterprise Financed Over Two Million Homes

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/25/2010
CNBC - Online

By: Reuters | 24 Feb 2010 | 02:19 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/25/2010
US Daily, The

Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/Greg Pio Photography/Handout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

Return to Top



Google's Italian Crime Shows Why Italy Is Lagging: Ann Woolner | View Clip
02/25/2010
Bloomberg News - Online

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Distracted while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an e-mail from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or e-mail address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

And every once in a while, I spot a hard-to-find item on eBay that I want.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order yesterday “astonishing,” as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google Inc. executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teen in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by a group of high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months community service.

Invading Privacy

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former Chief Financial Officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first Internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (Just yesterday, in another context, I argued in favor of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.)

As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, Internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinize, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

So this means that Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous today.

A Death Sentence?

If that were the law in the U.S., it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

“Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,” he says. Goldman suspects it's no coincidence that the U.S. is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

This is a country with a free-speech tradition dating to the Constitution and stretching forward through a 1996 law shielding Internet service providers from liability for content their users post.

“Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,” says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't.

His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the Internet an ever-evolving creature -- engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we couldn't imagine a few minutes ago.

U.S. Perspective

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the Internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on Internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furor in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going. It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global viewership.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google aided in finding the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the Internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

(Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Click on “Send Comment” in sidebar display to send a letter to the editor.

To contact the writer of this column: Ann Woolner in Atlanta at awoolner@bloomberg.net.

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Google's Italian Crime Shows Why Italy Is Lagging: Ann Woolner | View Clip
02/25/2010
BusinessWeek - Online

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Distracted while thinking how to begin this column, I clicked on an e-mail from a friend. She had sent me a YouTube video in which a tidy cylindrical shape on a shoulder strap unrolled to become a computer.

Almost every day, someone sends a YouTube clip or invites me to join them in Facebook or LinkedIn or something called Friendster.

When trying to find a way to contact a possible source last week, I Googled him and found he had Twitter but no listed phone number or e-mail address. Maybe I should drop the curmudgeonly attitude and sign up myself.

And every once in a while, I spot a hard-to-find item on eBay that I want.

None of this is remarkable, which is what makes an Italian judge's order yesterday “astonishing,” as a Google spokesman put it.

Judge Oscar Magi in Milan found three Google Inc. executives guilty of invading the privacy of a disabled teen in Turin. They didn't know him, didn't photograph him, nor were they aware of it when someone else posted a video of him being bullied by a group of high-schoolers.

When Italian police informed Google it was hosting the video, employees took it down and helped authorities locate the teenager who posted it. She was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 months community service.

Invading Privacy

Nonetheless, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, its global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, and former Chief Financial Officer George Reyes now stand convicted in Italy of invading privacy. Each got suspended sentences of six months in jail. They are the first Internet executives to be held criminally liable for something some outsider posted.

In Italy, executives are punished when their company does wrong. (Just yesterday, in another context, I argued in favor of punishing individuals instead of companies, by the way. But in that case, somebody clearly did something wrong.)

As for the Google matter, if these men or this company can be convicted in this case, then to operate comfortably in Italy, Internet hosts must monitor content submitted by users and weed out any ahead of time that may offend the law.

On a practical level, the volume of user-generated content is too great to scrutinize, even if national mores allowed that sort of censorship.

So this means that Internet executives all over the world should be very, very nervous today.

A Death Sentence?

If that were the law in the U.S., it probably would have killed eBay, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the lot before they got started, says Eric Goldman, who teaches law and technology at Santa Clara University in California.

“Rulings like this absolutely suppress entrepreneurial innovation,” he says. Goldman suspects it's no coincidence that the U.S. is the global leader in creating new enterprises based on user-generated content.

This is a country with a free-speech tradition dating to the Constitution and stretching forward through a 1996 law shielding Internet service providers from liability for content their users post.

“Congress has said it's safe to be an innovator,” says Goldman.

Judge Magi has said it isn't.

His ruling, if it stands, will chill speech and squelch the spirit that makes the Internet an ever-evolving creature -- engaging, educating, entertaining and connecting us in ways we couldn't imagine a few minutes ago.

U.S. Perspective

From an American perspective, the ruling is crazy. Cultural differences help explain why we look at these things so differently. Americans don't know what it's like to be invaded by another country, as Italians do, or to feel as though a centuries-old culture and deeply held values are being swallowed up and trashed by technological invaders.

The ruling comes at a time when Europe is pushing back against American dominance on the Internet. The European Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into Google for possible antitrust violations, for one thing. For another, Italy is considering a law that would create greater restrictions on Internet companies, making them subject to the same sort of laws that govern television.

As for the case at hand, it's no wonder it caused a furor in Italy when the video exposed an innocent youngster to ridicule around the world. And even though his parents dropped their complaint against Google, I understand why a group that advocates for the disabled, Vivi Down, kept the case going. It should be a crime to bully a vulnerable child and another crime to expose his humiliation to a global viewership.

But Google took down the video when told of it. Google aided in finding the teenager who posted the video. Google and its executives acted responsibly, not criminally.

And if Italy wants to hold them responsible, it should anticipate a future without the Internet innovations that freer countries in the world enjoy.

Now, how did they make that computer roll up like that?

Click on “Send Comment” in sidebar display to send a letter to the editor.

--Editors: Jim Rubin, Steven Gittelson.

To contact the writer of this column: Ann Woolner in Atlanta at +1-404-507-1314 or awoolner@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this column: James Greiff at +1-212-617-5801 or jgreiff@bloomberg.net.

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Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage | View Clip
02/25/2010
Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Return to Top



Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage | View Clip
02/25/2010
PC World - Online

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-Malware section.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/25/2010
CIO IT-Strategie für Manager

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

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Students Protest Poor AT&T Cell Phone Reception | View Clip
02/25/2010
TMCnet.com

When the word “protest” comes to mind, most might conjure up imagines of sit-ins or large groups holding signs against war or some other hot-button issue.

But students at Santa Clara University reportedly are calling attention to a new so-called “injustice”: poor cell phone reception.

According to news reports, university students have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T (News - Alert) to Complain Day." Students that use AT&T were encouraged to call the company and complain about the allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dorms. Event organizer Kelsey Houlihan, a junior at the school, said between 200 and 300 students and faculty members called AT&T to complain.


In response, AT&T sent a representative to the campus to talk with students. The company reportedly has been aware for months about the on-campus coverage issues and is working with the university to improve reception, the report said.

This isn't the first time AT&T has heard complaints about its coverage. The company has heard from iPhone (News - Alert) users over the last year regarding its 3G network performance, the report said. To help, AT&T launched HSPA 7.2 technology that is designed to boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company has high hopes that the move to deploy its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the problems,Network World ( News - Alert) reported.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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Yelp Sued For Offering To Bury Bad Reviews In Exchange For Ads | View Clip
02/25/2010
MediaPost.com

A California veterinary center has sued review site Yelp for allegedly promising to bury bad reviews in exchange for purchasing $3,600 worth of advertising on the site.

"Yelp frequently exercises its control over the Yelp.com listing application to modify business listing pages to the advantage of businesses that purchase Yelp advertising subscriptions, and the disadvantage of those that decline," Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital owner Gregory Perrault alleges in a

complaint (PDF) filed in federal district court in the central district of California.

Cats and Dogs, based in Long Beach, alleges that Yelp violated California's business code. The company is seeking class-action status.

Perrault says in his complaint that his dispute with Yelp stemmed from two "defamatory" reviews that appeared on the site. The posts allegedly included statements like "Dr. Perrault is the rudest vet I've ever been to" and "my poor dog was terrified of him."

Perrault says in his lawsuit that shortly after these reviews appeared, he began receiving "frequent, high-pressure calls from Yelp advertising employees, who promised to manipulate Cats and Dogs' Yelp.com listing page in exchange for Cats and Dogs purchasing an advertising subscription."

Specifically, he alleges that a Yelp sales representative promised to move the reviews to the bottom of its results, ensure that they did not appear in search engine results, and also allow the hospital to decide which order reviews would appear in on Yelp, in exchange for a one-year $300-a-month ad buy.

The lawsuit was filed one year after the East Bay Express reported in an explosive article that some business owners were alleging that Yelp sales representatives offered to bury bad reviews in exchange for ad purchases. Yelp's CEO

disputed the allegations.

Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman says that it's not clear how far the case will get in court. Even if Cats and Dogs can prove that Yelp's sales representatives promised to remove bad reviews in exchange for ad purchases, it's not clear that such tactics violate California's business code, Goldman says.

On the other hand, he adds, judges might be sympathetic to the business owners who are suing. "The allegations are damning," he says. "I could see a court saying, 'Give me a legal theory and I will find a remedy.'"

A Yelp spokesperson denied the allegations and said the company will fight the lawsuit aggressively. "The allegations are demonstrably false, since many businesses that advertise on Yelp have both negative and positive reviews. These businesses realize that both kinds of feedback provide authenticity and value."

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Washington Post - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Washington Post - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of 'underwater' mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations. 'I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things,' he said. 'Some were angry.' For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the 'optimal' loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said. 'The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about,' he said. 'All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped.' Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such 'strategic defaults' would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said. 'I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify,' Das said. The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is 'income shock' or 'wealth shock' will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Washington Post - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations. "I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry." For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said. "The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped." Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said. "I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said. The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Easybourse.Com

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
International Business Times

NEW YORK - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

Realtor Mac McCollum stands in front of a foreclosed home in Bullhead City, Arizona, November 4, 2009. (REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson)

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

Next Article: Obama rejects criticism of agenda as "socialism"

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
IT Business Net

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of 'underwater' mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market. The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations. 'I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things,' he said. 'Some were angry.' For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the 'optimal' loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said. 'The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about,' he said. 'All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped.' Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such 'strategic defaults' would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said. 'I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify,' Das said. The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is 'income shock' or 'wealth shock' will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Yahoo! India

Thu, Feb 25 01:23 AM

Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

Return to Top



A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Thomson Reuters - Online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

Return to Top



A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
Yahoo! Canada

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

Return to Top



A tale of two Das: Citi CEO, academic and mortgages (Reuters) | View Clip
02/24/2010
Yahoo! News

NEW YORK (Reuters) , a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles' heel to the U.S. housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the nation's fourth-largest home loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market. The two men took separate paths for 25 years, but are now grappling with the behavior of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving e-mail messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real estate agents and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of e-mails seeking help, or to express frustrations. "I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry." For Professor Das the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement of how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so -- after meeting with CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators -- further study is needed, he said. "The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped." Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they have jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said. "I like the way he's framed his thinking, however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said. The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth. To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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A tale of two Dases: Citi CEO, academic, and mortgages | View Clip
02/24/2010
DNA India - Online

Al Yoon / Reuters

NEW YORK: Sanjiv Ranjan Das, a professor at California's Santa Clara University, last fall attacked the problem of "underwater" mortgages often cited as an Achilles heel to the US housing market.

He had a special fan: Sanjiv Das, the top executive at CitiMortgage, the country's fourth-largest home-loan lender and servicer of $723 billion in mortgages.

Coincidental ties extending back to their mid-1980s attendance at the Indian Institute of Management have resulted in meetings of the academic and banking minds over the biggest conundrum of today's housing market.

The two men took separate paths for 25 years but are now grappling with the behaviour of borrowers faced with job loss, burdensome mortgages, and a slump in home values that has caused many mortgages to exceed the value of their properties.

Stark reminders of the connection surfaced as Professor Das in mid-2008 began receiving email messages meant for CitiMortgage's Das from borrowers, real-estate agents, and the mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Das has fielded dozens of emails seeking help, or to express frustrations.

"I started getting these messages, so people were really tracking things," he said. "Some were angry."

For Professor Das, the connection was fortuitous for his research, which urges bankers to ramp up the controversial practice of forgiving principal in loan modifications. Banks have found such calls hard to swallow because it speeds up losses, and there is widespread disagreement on how to do it fairly or keep borrowers from assuming it could happen in the future.

Professor Das asserts that principal forgiveness of some kind is the "optimal" loan modification. Even so — after meeting CitiMortgage's Das last fall, and with other bankers and regulators — further study is needed, he said.

"The problem is a lot bigger than what I wrote about," he said. "All the major banks are trying their best to help homeowners out as much as they can, but it's just too much. They are swamped."

Underwater loans became a by-product of the housing crisis as falling prices erased already thin layers of equity many Americans held in their homes. Accounts of underwater borrowers walking away from their homes, even if they had jobs, have set off fears that such "strategic defaults" would overwhelm lender efforts to curb foreclosures by only lowering payments.

More than 11.3 million, or 24%, of residential properties with mortgages had negative equity at the end of 2009, according to FirstAmerican CoreLogic.

But lenders still resist calls to cut principal. At CitiMortgage, interest rate reductions and term extensions remain the preferred ways to reach affordability, its CEO said.

"I like the way he's framed his thinking; however, there's more work to be done to take into account moral hazard and fairness, which are extremely hard to quantify," Das said.

The two men may now collaborate on research to identify which borrowers are at risk of default due to income loss and those who might not pay only because of eroded net worth.

To determine what is "income shock" or "wealth shock" will result in better loan modifications, Professor Das said.

Big Pharma starts believing in outside innovation

Inox-Fame deal valuation seen fair

E-payment for service tax of Rs10 lakh/more

'No new taxes likely in the budget 2010'

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
PC World - Online

This has not a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with official complaints of anti-competitive behavior from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have filed complaints with the European Commission, the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms "price comparison sites uk" on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (ICOMP), which is supported in part by Microsoft. That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the successful antitrust case recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named KinderStart took Google to court, arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the suit was dismissed a year later.

But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign "to harass Google on antitrust issues." The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate blog post early Wednesday that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves bullying a 17-year old boy with Down Syndrome and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with defamation and failing to protect the privacy of the boy with Down Syndrome.   The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service.

I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision implies. It will be interesting to see if Google can successfully overturn the conviction, or whether the concept of holding Web-based services accountable for the actions of its users will spread beyond Italy.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
Network World - Online

Execs are convicted of violating privacy laws in Italy and the EU is investigating allegations of anti-competitive behavior

By Ian Paul, PC World

This has not a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with official complaints of anti-competitive behavior from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have filed complaints with the European Commission, the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms "price comparison sites uk" on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (ICOMP), which is supported in part by Microsoft. That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the successful antitrust case recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named KinderStart took Google to court, arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the suit was dismissed a year later.

But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign "to harass Google on antitrust issues." The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate blog post early Wednesday that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves bullying a 17-year old boy with Down Syndrome and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
PC World - Online

This has not been a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with official complaints of anti-competitive behavior from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have filed complaints with the European Commission, the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms "price comparison sites uk" on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (ICOMP), which is supported in part by Microsoft. That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the successful antitrust case recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named KinderStart took Google to court, arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the suit was dismissed a year later.

But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign "to harass Google on antitrust issues." The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate blog post early Wednesday that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves bullying a 17-year old boy with Down Syndrome and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with defamation and failing to protect the privacy of the boy with Down Syndrome. The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service.

I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision implies. It will be interesting to see if Google can successfully overturn the conviction, or whether the concept of holding Web-based services accountable for the actions of its users will spread beyond Italy.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
Yahoo! News

This has not been a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have , the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms 'price comparison sites uk' on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called (ICOMP), which is . That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named , arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the a year later. But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign 'to harass Google on antitrust issues.' The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with of the boy with Down Syndrome. The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service. I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision implies. It will be interesting to see if Google can successfully overturn the conviction, or whether the concept of holding Web-based services accountable for the actions of its users will spread beyond Italy.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
Industry Standard, The

02.24.2010

This has not a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with official complaints of anti-competitive behavior from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have filed complaints with the European Commission, the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms "price comparison sites uk" on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (ICOMP), which is supported in part by Microsoft. That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the successful antitrust case recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named KinderStart took Google to court, arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the suit was dismissed a year later.

But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign "to harass Google on antitrust issues." The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate blog post early Wednesday that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves bullying a 17-year old boy with Down Syndrome and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with defamation and failing to protect the privacy of the boy with Down Syndrome.   The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service.

I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision

Return to Top



Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week | View Clip
02/24/2010
Industry Standard, The

This has not a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with official complaints of anti-competitive behavior from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have filed complaints with the European Commission , the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a Google Blog post . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms "price comparison sites uk" on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (ICOMP), which is supported in part by Microsoft . That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the successful antitrust case recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named KinderStart took Google to court , arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the suit was dismissed a year later.

But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a recent blog post that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign "to harass Google on antitrust issues." The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate blog post early Wednesday that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves bullying a 17-year old boy with Down Syndrome and uploaded the evidence to Google Video . The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with defamation and failing to protect the privacy of the boy with Down Syndrome.   The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service.

I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision implies. It will be interesting to see if Google can successfully overturn the conviction, or whether the concept of holding Web-based services accountable for the actions of its users will spread beyond Italy.

Connect with Ian on Twitter ( @ianpaul ) or on Google Buzz .

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Google Europe: A No Good, Very Bad Week (PC World) | View Clip
02/24/2010
Yahoo! News

This has not been a good week so far for Google's European operations. The search giant has been hit with from three companies based in the European Union, and three Google employees have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws.

European Commission

Three companies have , the EU's regulatory board, charging Google with anti-competitive behavior, according to a . Foundem, a price comparison site, is reportedly arguing that since it is a direct competitor to Google's own shopping services, the search giant ranks Foundem lower in its results. Ejustice.fr has similar complaints to Foundem, while Microsoft-owned Ciao has taken issue with Google's terms and conditions, Google says.

In my own tests, using the search terms 'price comparison sites uk' on Google.co.uk, Foundem was listed towards the bottom of the third page of search results after an extensive list of UK-based price comparison sites.

Microsoft

In its blog post about these issues, Google not so subtly ties Microsoft to these complaints. Ciao's ties are obvious since it is a Microsoft-owned company, but Foundem had indirect ties since it is a member of a group called (ICOMP), which is . That does not necessarily mean, however, that these companies' complaints are unfounded. As the Financial Times points out, the Web browser maker Opera, a direct competitor of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, initiated the recently brought against Microsoft in Europe.

Woe is Google

Charges against Google for unfair practices relating to its search algorithms are nothing new. In 2006, a US-based company named , arguing the search giant was unfairly excluding KinderStart from its search results; the a year later. But interestingly, the charges against Google in Europe are occurring at the same time as accusations of unfair trade practices against Google in the United States. Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, suggested in a that some of these US-based lawsuits might be part of a Microsoft campaign 'to harass Google on antitrust issues.' The evidence Goldman provides in his blog post is largely circumstantial, but the suggestion of Microsoft involvement are interesting given the new European complaints.

Italian Privacy

Google announced in a separate that three of its employees in Italy have been convicted of violating Italian privacy laws. The case dates back to 2006 when school children in Turin, Italy filmed themselves and uploaded the evidence to Google Video. The search giant complied with requests from Italian police to remove the bullying video, but not before it received about 12,000 views online. After the video was taken down, Google says it also helped police find the perpetrators.

Italian prosecutors decided to hold Google responsible for the video by charging four Google executives with of the boy with Down Syndrome. The charge of defamation was ultimately dismissed, and Google says it will appeal the conviction of its four employees.

As Google points out in its blog post, the message these convictions send is particularly troubling. If Web sites were held accountable for every piece of user-generated content, then many aspects of the Web most users enjoy including social networks, blogs, and video and photo sharing sites would be severely threatened. Imagine if every blog owner could be hauled before a judge for comments left on their blogs, or if Twitter was sued every time someone was slandered via the microblogging service. I'm not sure many companies would be willing to take the risk associated with the kind of responsibility the Italian court's decision implies. It will be interesting to see if Google can successfully overturn the conviction, or whether the concept of holding Web-based services accountable for the actions of its users will spread beyond Italy.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on Google Buzz.

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Hospice Volunteers Add Personal Touch and Keep Costs Down | View Clip
02/24/2010
Nashville Medical News - Online

Talk to people who try to recruit volunteers for hospice programs, and they will tell you that it takes a special breed. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization estimates that more than 500,000 individuals volunteer annually at 3,200 hospice organizations nationwide — and most are recruited after a loved one has received hospice care. More than five million hours of hospice services are volunteered annually.

"A major part of it is word of mouth or when they have had a personal experience with hospice, either through a friend or a family member," explains Tammy Stringer, a registered nurse with Trinity Hospice for nine years. Trinity has Tennessee sites in Nashville, Dickson and Chattanooga. She says what volunteers do at a hospice organization depends on their individual "comfort level," and that hospices keep costs down when volunteers pitch in. In fact, Stringer's 16-year-old daughter volunteers at Trinity's Nashville office compiling admission packets, making copies and filing.

Shanon Pennington, Trinity Nashville's director of volunteer services, says eight volunteers currently work for the organization and each has had training commensurate with his or her duties. She says "direct volunteers," those who interact with patients, receive 24 hours of training and all volunteers receive a detailed manual. Direct volunteers participate in "ride-alongs" with hospice staff members such as a nurse, social worker, home health aide and chaplain "so they get a feel for what all the disciplines do," she says.

Pennington explains that direct volunteers are not allowed to administer medication or change patients' clothing. "If the patient is able to walk with just an arm-holding, they can help," she says. "But mostly our volunteers sit and read to them or just talk with them or make them lunch or take them outside."

Not only are volunteers giving their time for the patients, they're also welcome support and relief for the patients' caregivers. "Some patients are not really responsive. At that point, the caregivers are there 24 hours and must stay with them all the time," Pennington says. "So they're not able to run to the grocery or just get out and get away. That's when the volunteers usually come in and sit with the patient just to make sure everything goes OK while the caregiver is out, say, getting her hair done."

It's Pennington's job to coordinate that time, as well as recruit new volunteers though newspaper advertising, presence at booth events such as county fairs and association meetings, and via church and bereavement programs. She says once bereaved family members and friends struggle through the grieving process that many, particularly retirees, are ready to give back. "I've gotten quite a few of my volunteers through there, where their family members were patients and now they come in and help us," she says. Most direct volunteers work either in patients' homes or nursing homes, she adds.

According to the Hospice Foundation of America, child care can also be a critical function. This can include help with babysitting, picking up children from school or providing necessary transportation to club meetings or sporting events and practices. Volunteers have also made invaluable contributions with family pet care, according to Foundation information.

Volunteers are an integral part of the system. In fact, the important role of volunteers is built into Medicare's regulations, which require that hospices use volunteers at a level that equals at least 5 percent of the total patient care hours delivered by all paid staff. Thus, nurturing and encouraging volunteers is a critical hospice function today.

Santa Clara University actively researches hospice programs and the positive use of volunteers in those programs. Santa Clara experts recommend that volunteer representatives introduce volunteers to families and patients. They also recommend: a volunteer recognition dinner or banquet, a spiritual retreat day for volunteers, volunteer of the month recognitions, a volunteer update in the form of a newsletter or e-mail, regional support groups for volunteer coordinators, volunteer business cards, thank you notes to volunteers from doctors and nurses and volunteer coordinators, retreats, an annual volunteer cookout, and parties for holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.

Volunteers must submit to a routine background check.

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Living with Character: Los Altos family's abode boasts high historical marks | View Clip
02/24/2010
Los Altos Town Crier

Written by Los Altos Town Crier

Photo Photo Courtesy Of Betsy BalassoneThe Balassones’ historic home on Rinconada Court features a Queen Anne L-shaped porch.

The porch, the front door and the staircase are what sold Betsy Balassone on the farmhouse that became her family home in 1994.

In fact, these three elements embody the soul of the historic home situated at the end of Rinconada Court in Los Altos. Built in 1895 as the centerpiece of Farnsworth Farms, the beautifully restored house is an exemplary mix of Queen Anne and Eastern Stick (Tudor) architecture.

Betsy, husband Jim and their three children – Merrill, Elizabeth and James – have enjoyed many meals on the Queen Anne L-shaped porch that wraps around two sides of the house. Jim is an executive-in-residence at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

From the porch, you enter the past through the original oversize front door made of oak and glass. The doorknob has interlocking letter F’s (for Farnsworth Farms) and the date 1895.

A handcrafted solid-oak staircase climbs three stories from the warm and welcoming entry.

“The stairway leads the way in setting the tone of the house. Just imagine how many hands through the years have touched the newel post,” Betsy said. “Living in the house makes us part of a much bigger story. It has taken good care of the people who have lived here.”

The first residents, the David Farnsworths, planted a row of canary palms that lead to the farmhouse. The eight that remain are Rinconada Court landmarks and have been placed on the city’s heritage list. The house, too, has been designated a historic landmark by the city, with a Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) rating of 95 on a 100-point scale.

Landscape designer John McLaren laid out the grounds around the farmhouse. He is best known for landscaping Stanford University and Golden Gate Park.

Wagonloads of cobblestones from San Francisco streets after the 1906 earthquake were used to outline the garden plots. Today, they are part of the Victorian garden and gazebo adjoining the property.

Perhaps most noteworthy among the succession of owners was Judge Paul L. Myers Sr., who bought the property in 1944 and taught his children to live off the land. When they left home to attend college, the “farm” part of the property was sold, becoming the present day Rinconada Court and Dracena Lane.

After the judge’s death in 1985, subsequent owners restored and updated the 3,600-square-foot four-bedroom, 3.5-bath house.

The Balassones have continued making it “an easy place for a family to live,” according to Betsy. They added much-needed storage space, created an upper-level recreation area and remodeled the kitchen.

The light-filled living and dining rooms feature intricate period millwork with dual crown moldings, ceiling medallions and wainscoting treatments. The original 10-foot pocket doors separate the living and dining rooms. Buttery yellow walls complement the warmth of the original oak flooring.

The living room has a marble-surround fireplace and French doors leading to the porch.

Betsy’s favorite room is the dining room, with its original leaded-glass windows and built-in glass-fronted hutch.

“The great benefit of the dining room is its size. We’ve had so many sports teams in here,” she said.

All three Balassone children, now grown, were athletes, playing water polo and basketball, swimming and running track. James, the youngest, plays water polo at Stanford, where he is a freshman. Elizabeth is in her second year of law school at Stanford and Merrill is a journalist working at the Modesto Bee.

The state-of-the-art kitchen has a 10.5-foot ceiling, granite countertops and a center island with an extended granite table for casual family dining.

“If there’s ever an earthquake, we’d be safe under that table,” Betsy said.

The open kitchen adjoins the family room, which has a built-in media center and large windows overlooking the porch. Also off the kitchen is a butler’s pantry, which houses a prep sink, wine storage, bench seat with built-in linen storage and a powder room.

Upstairs, on the second level, the master suite opens onto a sun porch at the front of the house and offers built-ins, French doors and an adjoining study enclosed with large windows overlooking the grounds. The master bath is finished in marble with a deep tub, dressing table, dual vanity and walk-in closets.

There are two more bedrooms on this level, one with an adjoining study matching that of the master suite, the other with a quixotic balcony with ball-and-stick trim.

On the third floor, a pool table anchors the center of a large recreation room, which has built-in storage, a media center, comfy seating and a wall of desk space. A real plus is a bedroom and accompanying bath that shines with tiny tiles and a pedestal sink.

Outdoors, there is a large yard with a flagstone walk and spa, in addition to a basketball court. Oops, almost forgot the detached two-car garage.

“We feel privileged to live here, but our children have flown the coop and it’s time to make our nest smaller,” said Betsy about the decision to put their historical house on the market.

The transition to a new house will be “bittersweet,” but the time is right, she said.

“It’s a house with a lot of character for a family of characters,” said daughter Elizabeth.

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Loving Kindness: The Best that Spirituality and Religion Has to Offer? | View Clip
02/24/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Loving kindness is another tool of religion and spirituality

You would never know it by reading daily news accounts about religion but, perhaps at its very best, spirituality and religion fosters many very helpful qualities such as loving kindness as well as forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion.

The religious traditions encourage loving kindness to others along with compassionate behaviors which can not only make the world a better place but has many physical and mental health benefits as well. For example, in one of our recent studies at Santa Clara University, we found that students who participated in an alternative school break focusing on "faith that does justice" involving helping others in solidarity returned from their experience more compassionate than when they left and coped better with school and others stressors to boot.

Additionally, religious traditions, at their best, highlight the need to and benefits from forgiveness and redemption. Forgiveness is an important foil to anger and bitterness. Letting go of anger and bitterness, of real or perceived slights by others, and of transgressions of all sorts, can have many positive mental and physical effects according to a large number of recent research studies.

Gratitude highlights the ability to be thankful for what one has or what has been given as well as the ability to appreciate and savor daily events and experiences. It involves "counting your blessings" and is encouraged within all of the major religious traditions. Research has indicated that those who experience more gratitude tend to sleep better, are more optimistic, more energetic, and maintain better interpersonal relationships too.

So, doing the right thing for ourselves and others involves religious and spiritual tools such as focusing on loving kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion.

Perhaps media and others can focus more on these qualities than the terrible ones that we hear about on a regular basis. Too often we are quick to throw the baby out with the bath water when we read about some of the terrible aspects of religion. Religion can bring out the worst in people as well as the very best in people. Let's focus on the best.

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San Jose District 9 candidates looking forward to June 8 election | View Clip
02/24/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

As the March 12 nomination deadline approaches for the District 9 San Jose City Council seat, three newcomers have emerged and a former councilman is hinting that he will enter the race to replace termed-out Vice Mayor Judy Chirco.

Larry Pegram, a San Jose councilman from 1974 to 1980, said on Feb. 19 that he had "one hurdle to get out of the way" regarding the future of an organization he is involved in, and if he can clear it he would enter the race.

"There are serious problems with this city," said Pegram, a social conservative who is the president and co-founder of the Christian, San Jose-based Values Advocacy Council.

The declared candidates include Jim Cogan, chief of staff of Councilman Pete Constant; Donald Rocha, a development officer at the San Jose Redevelopment Agency; and Chad Greer, a student at Santa Clara University.

Cogan, 33, and Rocha, 41, have known each other for more than 10 years, and both have been involved in city government.

Cogan, a Democrat, has worked in the offices of Republicans Pat Dando and Pete Constant, and he was chief of staff for Democratic Councilwoman Linda LeZotte. Cogan said his biggest issue is strengthening public safety, and he also touts his recent leadership in founding the Erikson Neighborhood Association near Erikson Elementary School on Pearl Avenue.

He said he would try to foster more neighborhood associations in District 9 if he were elected.

"I think people

are really hungry for that sense of community," Cogan said in an interview.

Because San Jose is in its ninth straight year of general fund shortfalls, Cogan has floated the idea of closing city hall for one day every two weeks rather than limiting more hours at libraries or parks.

"It's more of a philosophy than an issue," Cogan said of the city hall furlough day. "We need to focus on parks, paving and public safety," Cogan said. He is a native of New Hampshire, and he has a newborn boy and a 3-year-old boy with his wife, Shannon.

Donald Rocha also brings years of local government experience, having been chief of staff for former San Jose Councilman Dave Cortese and a staffer for George Shirakawa Jr., Charlotte Powers, Dom Cortese and Elaine Alquist when she served in the California State Assembly.

Rocha said he left Cortese's office after his fist term in 2004 because he wanted to see more of his wife and children. His children are now 9, 6 and 2 months old. Rocha has worked as a development officer in the San Jose Redevelopment Agency since then, and he is a trustee on the Cambrian School Board.

Rocha said some of his top priorities for San Jose are improving economic development, tackling the budget and helping youth sports to grow.

He said his biggest redevelopment achievement was closing a deal in late 2008 with Brocade Communications Systems, which had planned to leave its corporate headquarters in North San Jose. Rocha said he brokered a deal for the redevelopment agency to reimburse the company for roughly $3.5 million in technical equipment, essentially saving 1,200 jobs and adding another 600 jobs to the city.

"It's one of the biggest deals we've done at the agency," Rocha said.

Rocha and Cogan both said family occupies much of their time away from work, and Rocha said he coaches his children's basketball and soccer teams.

Cogan said he is into outdoor sports, such as mountain biking and snowboarding, and he owns a motorcycle and does all his own car repairs.

The final candidate who has pulled nomination papers for the District 9 council race is 22-year-old Chad Greer, who is a senior and accounting major at Santa Clara University. Greer has raised no money for his campaign and has no experience in city politics.

The election is set for June 8, and the last day to register to vote and receive a voter information packet is May 10. The final day to register to vote is May 24 at www.sccvote.org.

Contact Stephen Baxter at sbaxter@community-news papers.com

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Industry Standard, The

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-Malware section.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Network World - Online

Protest comes despite improving overall network performance

By Brad Reed, Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage
02/24/2010
Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Copyright © 2010 Network World - All Rights Reserved

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Macworld

Editor's Note: The following article is reprinted from Network World.

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a “Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day” that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Industry Standard, The

02.24.2010

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-Malware section.

Reprinted with permission from Networld World. Story copyright 2010 Networld World Inc. All rights reserved.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Small Business IT World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-Malware section.

Network World

Originally published on www.networkworld.com. Click here to read the original story.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.


According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.


AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

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Exclusive: Bloggers, Protect Thyself (From Libel Lawsuits) And The Future Of Journalism | View Clip
02/04/2010
mediabistro.com

One of the biggest, though least-heard criticisms of lean, online-only newsrooms is that these companies don't have deep enough pockets to protect its staff from lawsuits. If you're investigating corruption and get threatened with a libel suit, how can a tiny, 10 or 20-person newsroom compete with a company that may have top lawyers on retainer?

Incredibly, the Internet is actually a pretty safe place for bloggers and online journalists to speak out.

We spoke with law professor Eric Goldman, who teaches at the Santa Clara University School of Law, about things you might not know about blogging safely.

An excerpt:

"Personally, every time I put a blog post up, I'm betting my house. I don't have a separate corporate form [like an LLC]. It really is a stressful moment every time I hit publish, thinking, 'Is this the post that's going to cost me my house?'"

The rest of the interview, after the jump.

If you're going it alone, check your homeowners' insurance policy.
"It turns out that many homeowners insurance policies have coverage for things like defamation liability. Most people aren't aware of it. The problem for professional journalists is that it may not cover people involved in professional organizations. It would cover a blogger that never earns a dime but for people running professional organizations.

Adsense is an open question, one we are keenly interested in. What does it mean to run a commercial operation, sufficient to knock yourself out of the default coverage most people have? I think we will eventually have an issue on that. The insurer will say, 'You had Adsense on your site,' and [the site owner] will say, "Yeah, I did have Adsense, but I'm not running a commercial operation. There is revenue, but it's no different than some kind of hobby."

Remember precedent. 423-U.S.C. §230, part of the Communications Decency Act, means that web site operators can't be held liable for the content published by its users, even if the operator is exercising editorial control over which content gets published. (Historic precedent: Compuserve was sued for defamatory content posted on one of its forums and found not liable for the content.)

"What this means is that if a professional blogger or professional journalist is republishing online third-party content, they're not liable for that publication. When I get e-mail from somebody and they tell me it's fine to post it on my blog, if I cut and paste that e-mail on my blog, and it has defamatory content, I believe I'm protected under Section 230 [even though I made the choice to post the content]. This is totally counterintuitive, but [Congress] wanted to protect those editorial judgment calls.

"There was a 9th circuit case on this point [Batzel vs. Cremers] where somebody reposted an e-mail online and the court said we're not sure if Section 230 applies. If the submitter had sent it with the expectation that it would go public, then Section 230 applies. If it was intended to be private, then it would not apply." (More on Section 230 from the EFF.)

Don't get SLAPPed.
"Anti-SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation] laws are another friend of the professional blogger because they help provide some cover for someone who decides to bring a lawsuit that was not based on legitimate concerns...if the judge decides the lawsuit was a SLAPP, the person who was sued gets their attorney's fees covered.

"About 30 states have adopted anti-SLAPP laws, and they're not uniform. Some are narrowly drafted. They protect only people who are trying to redress government wrongs. In other states, they're drafted a little more broadly. In California, any publication that relates to some matter of public concern might be eligible for anti-SLAPP protection.

"A blogger was posting criticisms of a publicly traded company; the blogger was sued and the case was dismissed on anti-SLAPP laws. [GTX Vs. Left]

"Will there be investigative journalism - will people be able to fight for their rights online? People may not really be at real risk when they tackle controversial subjects.

"Anti-SLAPP laws vary from state to state, but there's recently been a proposal to introduce a federal anti-SLAPP law. [H.R.4364: in committee.]

"This may help some of the bloggers or other online content publishers feel they can stand up to the bullies. And if anyone does mess with them, then the person that messes with them will see significant pain."

By the way: If it is not obvious, this post does not constitute legal advice. Check with a real lawyer (like the guy we talked to!) if you have actual, legal questions.

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