Daily Report Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Daily Highlights

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that federal regulators require new standards and tests for the engines on the Bombardier CRJ−model jets to ensure that the failure that contributed to a fatal 2004 crash does not occur again. (See item 10)
The Associated Press reports that starting this week inspectors from the Transportation Security Administration and other police agencies will begin sweeping Amtrak stations in Rhode Island, using bomb−sniffing dogs, undercover agents, and uniformed officers. (See item 12)
A University of New Hampshire scientist is leading an international team of researchers trying to understand how bird flu spreads among wild birds and poultry, combining satellite images showing rice farming cycles and wetlands with other research on epidemics, wild bird migration, and poultry farming practices. (See item 27)

Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

32. November 21, VNUNet — California court rules on Web defamation. The California Supreme Court has ruled that Internet service providers and bloggers cannot be sued for third−party comments posted on their sites. In the case of Barrett versus Rosenthal the court found that only the originator of the content could be sued, but that third parties who repost the material should be immune from prosecution. The ruling has profound implications for the future of Internet content. "We acknowledge that recognizing broad immunity for defamatory republications on the Internet has some troubling consequences," said the court. "Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area, however, plaintiffs who contend they were defamed in an Internet posting may only seek recovery from the original source of the statement."
Source: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2169219/california−court−r ules−web

33. November 21, Sophos — Don't let the Christmas spam fill your e−mail stocking, Sophos warns. Sophos has identified a new marketing trick being used by spammers in their attempt to get a hold of legitimate e−mail addresses and user information in the run−up to the holiday season: they are offering to send your child a letter directly from Santa. The unsolicited e−mail campaign, which includes subject lines like "Letter From Santa For Your Child" and "Santa Letter from the North Pole," offers a personalized letter addressed to your child. The e−mail also requests you to get in touch if you received the e−mail in error.
Source: http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2006/11/sant aspam.html

34. November 20, CNET News — Wi−Fi standards face patent threat. A federal judge in Tyler, TX, ruled last week that an Australian government agency holds the rights to patents on the underlying technology used in two Wi−Fi standards and a third proposed standard. The decision −− if it survives what many assume will be a lengthy appeals process −− could have a wide−ranging impact on wireless equipment makers and consumer electronics manufacturers. Judge Leonard Davis ruled that a patent granted in 1996 to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia's national science agency, is valid. The court also ruled that Buffalo Technology, a small maker of Wi−Fi routing gear, had violated this patent. The ruling is certainly a blow for Austin, TX−based Buffalo Technology, but the decision could have a huge impact on the entire Wi−Fi industry. "One reason that Wi−Fi has proliferated as it has is because it's reached a point where it's incredibly cheap, so it's easy to just stick a Wi−Fi chip in a consumer electronics device," said Stan Schatt, a vice president at ABI Research. "But if the cost of the technology goes up to pay for the license, even a little bit, it could throw off the economics."
Source: http://news.com.com/Wi−Fi+standards+face+patent+threat/2100−7351_3−6137372.html?tag=nefd.lede