Microsoft, MySpace, and Pirates, Oh My!

There's plenty atwitter on the newswire today, some funny, some frightening, and some that just bears repeating. On your mark, get set, here goes!

Big Evil — the cuddly and lovable software giant that crushes competition for a kinder, gentler software future — won't be getting off it's antitrust leash anytime soon. A federal judge decided yesterday that a two year extension Microsoft's competition probation was in order, though the company swears they've been good. Somewhere the European Commission is crying...

If that weren't bad enough news for The Empire, the list of most influential techno-innovators has been announced, and Satan's Little Helper is way down at #31. Topping the list is Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and not too far down is Apple boss and anti-Gates Steve Jobs.

The #2 & #3 spots went to the founders of Google, and it's no surprise why, with today's announcement that the leader of the search world has figured out how to put pay-per-click ads in newspapers. That's right, kiddies, before too long, you'll be able to get your daily paper with the convenience of flashing Viagra ads right there on the page. We knew there was something our morning was missing...

On the good news front, the BBC — which just months ago couldn't find the Linux forest for the trees — has decided to chuck tape in favor of Linux for recording programming. According to the Beeb's Stuart Cunningham, the UK soap EastEnders is already on the system, and more are sure to come.

Speaking of serious news, MySpace announced today that they've promoted themselves a new COO, and to celebrate, they're opening the site up to Facebook-style applications. The official launch isn't until February 5th, but if you're a developer itching to code Myspace widgets, get yourself over to their Dev center post haste!

And, to round out the day, pirates! Europe seems to be overflowing with the peg-legged populace, as two decisions came down this week regarding swashbuckling. First was the announcement from Sweden that it plans to press criminal charges against the operators of popular BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay. Then came an almost diametrically-opposite decision from Brussels, where the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of pirates, holding that EU members don't have to reveal the names of file sharers in civil lawsuits. Yo ho!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

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