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BUSINESS
November 14, 2008 | Joseph Menn, Menn is a Times staff writer.
Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates' 2004 proclamation that the spam problem would be solved within two years has proved a bitter joke, with unsolicited messages doubling yearly to make up about 90% of mail transmitted on the Internet. But this week, the tide turned. The number of unwanted, offensive and misleading e-mails sent across the globe plummeted by about two-thirds, to a mere 60 billion or so a day by Thursday, according to spam filtering companies.
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BUSINESS
November 11, 2008 | Jessica Guynn, Guynn is a Times staff writer
Microsoft Corp., a distant third in the search market, has signed a distribution deal with a former foe in a bid to increase its share of search traffic. U.S. Web surfers who are downloading Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java software will be asked whether they would also like to download a toolbar featuring a Microsoft Live Search box, under the deal announced Monday.
BUSINESS
November 4, 2008 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Chmielewski is a Times staff writer.
In an attempt to make headway against rampant film piracy, Warner Bros. will distribute newly released films online in China. The studio struck a deal with Union Voole Technology in China to offer new movies, as well as those that have never been seen in Chinese theaters, at rental prices ranging from 60 cents to $1. The inexpensive video-on-demand service seeks to entice China's estimated 253 million Internet users to pay for Hollywood fare rather than download illicit copies.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2008 | Associated Press
In a batch of 20 new episodes, Charlie Brown and the gang have been brought back to animated life, much in the style of their classic holiday TV specials. But this time Lucy, Snoopy and the others have been remade for the Web in 3-to-4-minute videos taken directly from classic 1964 comic strips. The videos, produced with Flash animation, were made by Warner Bros.' Motion Comics, which has previously brought strips of Batman, Superman and Watchmen to animated life. The "Peanuts" project was done with the involvement of the Charles Schulz family and estate, which monitored the adaptation.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday proposed opening up unused portions of the television airwaves known as "white spaces" to deliver wireless broadband Internet service. The proposal by FCC chief Kevin J. Martin appeals to public interest groups and many of the nation's biggest technology companies, including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which hope it will bring affordable high-speed Internet connections to more Americans.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2008 | David Colker and Michelle Maltais, Times Staff Writers
Google can search out just about anything on the Internet, but can it call to say you'll be late for dinner? Starting next week, it can. The G1, the first cellphone equipped with Google Inc.'s mobile Android software, will go on sale Wednesday at T-Mobile stores and some electronics stores. If purchased with a two-year calling plan, the phone will cost $179. The cost jumps to $399 without a plan. The phone uses a touch screen that can whip through images with the swipe of a finger.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2008 | Maria Russo, Times Staff Writer
Michael Wolff is over journalism. The media columnist for Vanity Fair thinks that the ailing vocation has gotten in the way of what modern info seekers really crave: news. As he tells the story, in recent decades the people who call themselves journalists have bloated the news with their self-importance and their desire for prestige, losing sight of what's interesting. Then the Internet arrived and gave people a faster, more efficient way to get their info fix. In a decade that's seen the expansion of the Internet, cable news, cellphones and social networking, most young people are about as likely to buy a newspaper as a Walkman.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
Internet service providers called for industrywide guidelines to protect privacy online in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday. But they want to set the guidelines themselves. "We ought to go forward with this self-regulatory approach," said Tom Tauke, executive vice president of Verizon Communications Inc. Executives for Time Warner Cable Inc. and AT&T Inc., the biggest Internet service provider in the nation, also testified before the committee.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2008 | Alana Semuels
EarthLink Inc. is expanding its cable broadband footprint in Los Angeles beyond the 400,000 homes where it's now available. The faster Internet service will now be available to 4 million additional homes in the area. EarthLink is billing it as an alternative to Time Warner Cable -- sort of. Although it offers customer support and features on top of it, EarthLink uses Time Warner Cable's infrastructure to deliver the service. But it's definitely a lot faster than dial-up. "It's important to give customers choice," said Kevin Brand, EarthLink's senior vice president of product management.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
What if locking the front door of your home while you're away were as easy as hopping onto the Internet? At the CEDIA Expo in Denver last week, Ingersoll-Rand Co.'s Schlage unit showed off door locks that can be wirelessly activated or opened via the Internet, from a mobile phone or from a computer. The battery-operated locks have keypads that are accessed with four-digit codes (or old-fashioned keys, as a backup). Users who forget to lock a door and want to enter their code remotely can do so via the Internet or an application added to their mobile phones.
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