Bits and megabytes


Issue: "How to fix baseball," June 21, 2003

Keep your anti-virus software updated: BugBear.B is the latest big computer virus to wreak havoc worldwide. Hackers can use it to take over infected PCs and steal credit-card numbers and other valuable data. The program installs a keylogger that monitors what computer users type.... Cellphone users can keep their old phone numbers when they change service providers. A federal court upheld an FCC rule that wireless operators offer "number portability" by Nov. 24. Proponents say this will help small businesses and the self-employed who could lose customers if they change phone numbers.... Verizon reluctantly gave the names of four suspected song traders to music-industry officials. The telecom company plans to keep fighting a new copyright law that forces Internet providers to identify suspected pirates. Rights-holders need only a subpoena from a federal court clerk's office, not a judge's signature.... Here's a shock: business software piracy actually dropped last year. The Business Software Alliance, an industry group, estimates that the global piracy rate dropped to 39 percent, compared to 49 percent in 1994 and 40 percent in 2000. It credits aggressive enforcement and education efforts-not to mention increased use of special software that trolls the Net looking for piracy. É Microsoft wants to power your cable TV box. New software called Microsoft TV Foundation Edition runs digital set-top boxes that deliver on-screen programming guides, pay-per-view movies, and updated news headlines. Cable companies are supposed to buy it in bulk and then sell it to household customers.... MGM Mirage spent millions building the first major American online casino. Now it's closing the place down because of "the legal and political climate in the U.S. and several countries around the world," according to CEO Terry Lanai. The casino operated on a tiny island off the British coast; to prevent legal problems, it was programmed to lock out U.S. gamblers.

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