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NBC Acquires Majority Stake in MSNBC (AP)
An NBC Universal billboard is seen at the NBC studios in Brubank, California, May 19, 2004. NBC Universal said on Friday it has bought control of cable channel MSNBC, unraveling a joint venture with Microsoft Corp. as the software giant continues to shift away from content production. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)AP - NBC is acquiring a majority stake in MSNBC from Microsoft Corp., giving NBC greater control over the struggling all-news cable channel and further scaling back the software giant's media ambitions.


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Gartner Warns About Vista Metadata Problem (NewsFactor)
NewsFactor - Windows Vista, the next version of Microsoft's Windows client operating system, will give users the ability to search for files by looking for information in the file's metadata tags. However, a report by I.T. research firm Gartner warned that allowing users to search for metadata tags in this manner could result in private information being inadvertently disclosed.

NBC to take control of MSNBC network from Microsoft (AFP)
Media group NBC Universal said it was to take control of 24-hour US cable channel MSNBC under an overhaul of its 10-year-old alliance with software giant Microsoft(MSNBC)AFP - Media group NBC Universal said it was to take control of 24-hour US cable channel MSNBC under an overhaul of its 10-year-old alliance with software giant Microsoft.


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Microsoft, Google settle legal wrangle in China (AFP)
A Chinese woman checks Google-Earth online. Google and Microsoft have ended a bitter legal wrangle over the Internet search king's July hiring of a former Microsoft vice president to head its China operations(AFP/File/Laurent Fievet)AFP - Google and Microsoft have ended a bitter legal wrangle over the Internet search king's July hiring of a former Microsoft vice president to head its China operations.


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Microsoft Seeks Online Partner (PC World)
PC World - After Google buys into AOL, software giant is apparently seeking a rival deal.

Windows Vista: Beware of Metadata Slips (PC Magazine)
PC Magazine - The keyword tagging system featured in Microsoft's upcoming Vista operating system could prove embarrassing if metadata comments are read by the wrong eyes, analysts warn.

European Union, Microsoft clash over settlement (USATODAY.com)
USATODAY.com - The European Union has threatened to fine Microsoft up to 2 million euros ($2.37 million) a day, saying Thursday that the software company is not fully complying with the EU's 2004 antitrust ruling.

Microsoft, Google Settle Over Employee (AP)
The Google headquarters in Mountain View, California is shown in this August 18, 2004 file photo. Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday they reached an agreement that settles their pending litigation that had barred a former Microsoft executive from heading up the Web search firm's research efforts in China. (File/Reuters)AP - Microsoft Corp. said late Thursday it had reached a settlement with rival Google Inc. and former employee Kai-Fu Lee, ending a legal battle that had exposed behind-the-scenes rancor between the companies.


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Google, Microsoft settle dispute over China exec (Reuters)
The Google headquarters in Mountain View, California is shown in this August 18, 2004 file photo. Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday they reached an agreement that settles their pending litigation that had barred a former Microsoft executive from heading up the Web search firm's research efforts in China. (File/Reuters)Reuters - Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday they agreed to settle pending litigation that had barred a former Microsoft executive from heading up the Web search firm's research efforts in China.


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EU Threatens Microsoft With Penalties (AP)
An NBC Universal billboard is seen at the NBC studios in Burbank, California, May 19, 2004. NBC Universal will take control of cable channel MSNBC in an overhaul of its joint venture with Microsoft Corp., with an option to buy up to 100 percent ownership within two years, MSNBC said on its Internet site. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)AP - The European Union on Thursday threatened to fine Microsoft Corp. up to 2 million euros ($2.37 million) a day for failing to obey its 2004 antitrust ruling, accusing the company of intransigence in sharing information with competitors.


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Video Game Sheds NFL License, Gets Violent (AP)
**FILE PHOTO** David Zucker, chief executive officer of Midway Games Inc., sits before a poster for the company's video game 'Mortal Kombat: Deception' Oct. 1, 2004, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)AP - In a gritty new video game about a fictional football league, players cripple their opponents, gamble and use performance-enhancing supplements.


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Internet Fosters Local Political Movements (AP)
Chart shows MoveOn.org membership since 1999 and money raised. (AP Graphic)AP - Frustrated by government and empowered by technology, Americans are filling needs and fighting causes through grass-roots organizations they built themselves — some sophisticated, others quaintly ad hoc. This is the era of people-driven politics.


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NORAD Marks 50th Year of Tracking Santa (AP)
Children left homeless from Hurricane Katrina cheer as a man dressed as Santa Claus arrives on a fire engine for a toy giveaway at Camp Premier, a tent city for people displaced from the storm in Chalmette, La. Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)AP - For half a century, the military agency dedicated to detecting threats against the United States and Canada has reported Santa's sleigh ride to curious youngsters around the world.


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Google's AOL Investment May Lead to '08 IPO (AP)
Time Warner chief executive Dick Parsons, seen here in 2002, shrugging off the threat of a shareholder revolt led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn over his plans for AOL, said the alliance with Google was the right choice for his troubled media group.(AFP/File/Doug Kanter)AP - Google Inc.'s $1 billion investment in America Online could lead to an IPO in 2008, giving the online search engine leader and AOL parent Time Warner Inc. an opportunity to capitalize on an Internet advertising boom that they hope to fuel through their partnership.


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College Launches Cell Phone Film Contest (AP)
Sudhanshu Saria, a senior in film making at Ithaca College, is participating in a cell phone film contest in Ithaca, N.Y., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2005. Ithaca College has invited high school and college students from across America to submit a 30-second film shot entirely with a cell phone. Saria likes the novel challenges presented by working with a cell phone and a 1- to 2-inch screen. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)AP - An Ithaca College dean is encouraging students to instead think small — and she's offering a $5,000 prize to do it. The school has invited high school and college students across America to submit a 30-second movie shot entirely with a cell phone.


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Google can sell AOL stake as early as July 2008 (Reuters)
Google Inc., the online media giant, will be able to sell its pending 5 percent stake in Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet unit as early as July 2008 according to Google's recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. RUETERS/File (Reuters)Reuters - Google Inc., the online media giant, will be able to sell its pending 5 percent stake in Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet unit as early as July 2008 according to Google's recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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South African mobile phone companies look back on bright year (AFP)
A woman walks past an advertisement for mobile phones. South African mobile phone providers are looking back on a bright year, having left a large footprint on the African continent as cellphones become the communication tool of choice for millions from Cape Town to Cairo.(AFP/File/Greg Wood)AFP - South African mobile phone providers are looking back on a bright year, having left a large footprint on the African continent as cellphones become the communication tool of choice for millions from Cape Town to Cairo.


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Alltel's Camcorder Cell Phone Tunes into FM Radio (PC Magazine)
PC Magazine - Alltel's Nokia 6235i handset comes with integrated FM tuner, VGA camera, camcorder capability and Web access.

OpenOffice Updated To Fix Bugs in 2.0 (NewsFactor)
NewsFactor - Continuing its effort to become a serious alternative to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org released an updated version of its open-source office suite this week. OpenOffice.org 2.01 comes two months after the formal release of version 2.0. The update mainly cleans up several glitches seen in the earlier release.

NBC Acquires Majority Stake in MSNBC (AP)
An NBC Universal billboard is seen at the NBC studios in Brubank, California, May 19, 2004. NBC Universal said on Friday it has bought control of cable channel MSNBC, unraveling a joint venture with Microsoft Corp. as the software giant continues to shift away from content production. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)AP - NBC is acquiring a majority stake in MSNBC from Microsoft Corp., giving NBC greater control over the struggling all-news cable channel and further scaling back the software giant's media ambitions.


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Google can sell AOL stake as early as July 2008 (Reuters)
Google Inc., the online media giant, will be able to sell its pending 5 percent stake in Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet unit as early as July 2008 according to Google's recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. RUETERS/File (Reuters)Reuters - Google Inc., the online media giant, will be able to sell its pending 5 percent stake in Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet unit as early as July 2008 according to Google's recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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From an English pub to the skies: airline e-ticketing takes off (AFP)
Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association. When airline executives and IT specialists met in a pub in the English Midlands ten years ago to plan the first ever Internet flight booking service, few of them suspected that they would spawn a revolution for the industry.(AFP/File/Yoshikazu Tsuno)AFP - When airline executives and IT specialists met in a pub in the English Midlands ten years ago to plan the first ever Internet flight booking service, few of them suspected that they would spawn a revolution for the industry.


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Spying Said to Be Broader Than Reported (AP)
AP - The National Security Agency has conducted much broader surveillance of e-mails and phone calls — without court orders — than the Bush administration has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on its Web site.

NSA eavesdropping wider than W.House admitted: report (Reuters)
U.S. President George W. Bush speaks on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for Camp David December 22, 2005. The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on Saturday. (Larry Downing/Reuters)Reuters - The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on Saturday.


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Avoiding the post-holiday online shopping blues (Reuters)
An Amazon.com employee picks orders from one of its fulfillment centers. Online retailers may receive more complaints over returns this year, if only because they are poised to post record sales. (Handout/Reuters)Reuters - Shopping online from the comfort of your sofa may be convenient, but it can lead to hassles after the holiday purchases are delivered.


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Google's AOL Investment May Lead to '08 IPO (AP)
Time Warner chief executive Dick Parsons, seen here in 2002, shrugging off the threat of a shareholder revolt led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn over his plans for AOL, said the alliance with Google was the right choice for his troubled media group.(AFP/File/Doug Kanter)AP - Google Inc.'s $1 billion investment in America Online could lead to an IPO in 2008, giving the online search engine leader and AOL parent Time Warner Inc. an opportunity to capitalize on an Internet advertising boom that they hope to fuel through their partnership.


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Online Teen Shoppers May Miss Fraud Signs (AP)
AP - Online shopping is booming and many marketers are targeting teens, a combination of trends that raises troubling issues for young shoppers during this holiday season.

Online shopping tops $25 bln to December 16: survey (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. holiday shoppers spent $25 billion online through the week ending December 16, with electronics and apparel representing the biggest categories, according to a survey of 1,000 adults released on Thursday.

French Parliament Votes To Legalize P2P File Sharing (NewsFactor)
NewsFactor - The lower house of the French parliament voted to legalize peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing of movies and music via the Internet. It is a vote that is certain to reverberate around the globe and draw severe criticism from the nation's film and music industries as well as from actors and recording artists.

Netflix wins first round in online DVD rental war (Reuters)
Reuters - When the head of Netflix Inc. said rival Blockbuster Inc. threw "everything but the kitchen sink at us," the world's largest video rental chain responded by sending him ... a kitchen sink.

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