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102005 - / Bill Gates / Front Cover Vol 49-POW60 /
NEWS Convergence - 10th Week of 102005
• • 102 BillGates is Knighted /Appeals Court Reverses Parts of Patent Ruling Against Microsoft
NEWS Convergence - 09th Week of 092005
NEWS Convergence - 09th Week of 092005
• 108 Money - State Is Investigating America's Title Insurerance Schemes
NEWS Convergence - 08th Week of 092005
NEWS Convergence - 07th Week of 072005
NEWS Convergence - 06th Week of 062005

108 Money - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.'s Net Income Soars on DVD Sales
Full Articles
106a BofA Prop 64 Will Not Stop Lawsuits
• 106a
Fiduciary Duties of Gov Is To Protect Royaties of Owners
• 106b
Law Statute of limitations Rape Case
• 106b
• 107c
Getting Producer Credits for Movies
• 108c
Murdoch's News Corp.'s Net Income Based on DVD Sales
• 110d
Big Profits For Google Stockholders
• 110d
Microsoft's Today's Puzzle - it's already A Search Engine?
• 110d
Bezos Amazon 2005 Money Report
• 110e
Verizon uses LookRadio Tiny Screen Concept
• 110e
Will it be -- SBC or AT&T?
• 112e
Taiwan and Fujian dialect

0605 - The Week That Was News Convergence
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Feature Stories - 102005-10 / Week tviNews Convergence

TOP STORIES CONVERGING INTO THE - 10th Week - March - 06th
• • 102 BillGates is Knighted /
• • March 3, 2005 - Bill Gates recieve an horary knighthood from Queen Eliztbeth at Buckingham Palace. The Microsoft chirman was honored for his charitable activities and his contribution to technolgy to Britain. Gates is entitles to add KBE -- Knight Commander of the British Empire -- after his name. Besides being the world's richest man, Microsoft's Bill Gates Wednesday added another title to his name when he was knighted by British Queen Elizabeth II.
As a U.S. citizen, the 48-year-old Gates may not use the title "Sir," but can put the letters KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the BritishEmpire) after his name, the BBC reported.Gates said he considers it a great honor to be recognized for his business skills and for his work in poverty reduction, the BBC said. After a private audience with the Queen, Gates said the British monarch discussed computers with him. Gates was joined at Buckingham Palace by wife Melinda. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is currently working on a global health program in the developing world.
Appeals Court Reverses Parts of Patent Ruling Against Microsoft
• • A federal appeals court reversed a $521-million patent ruling against Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday, giving the world's largest software maker another chance to prove that its widely used Web browser didn't illegally copy a key piece of technology..
• • A federal appeals court reversed a $521-million patent ruling against Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday, giving the world's largest software maker another chance to prove that its widely used Web browser didn't illegally copy a key piece of technology.
• • Microsoft hailed the 29-page decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. -- which also ordered a new trial -- as a "clear victory" for Internet users as well as the company.
• • Wednesday's ruling also upheld portions of the lower court decision.
• • Martin Lueck, a Minneapolis attorney representing patent holders Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California, predicted Microsoft ultimately would have to pay the jury award plus interest. "We believe we will prevail on this issue as we have throughout this process," Lueck said.
• • The complicated case revolves around the computer coding that enables a variety of software applications to work seamlessly with Web browsers.
• • Eolas' founder, cellular biologist Michael Doyle, says he invented the technology while he was working at the University of California more than a decade ago and then watched Microsoft capitalize on the breakthrough by including the features in its Internet Explorer browser. Microsoft has denied the allegations, first made in a lawsuit filed by Eolas and UC in 1999.
• • Doyle and the university filed for their patent in 1994, a year before Microsoft's Internet Explorer hit the market.
• • Doyle and the university alleged that the browser pilfered their patented plug-in technology. A jury agreed in 2003, ordering Microsoft to pay $521 million, or $1.47 for each of the more than 350 million units of the Windows operating system that shipped from November 1998 to September 2001.
• • A federal judge in Chicago upheld the jury award last year and ordered Microsoft to pay $45 million in interest.
• • In its decision, the appeals court concluded the lower court had erred in its approach to a key issue in the case. Microsoft contends the Eolas patent is invalid because the technology had already been developed and showcased in a May 1993 demonstration by another inventor, Pei-Yuan Wei.
• • Microsoft's shares fell 2 cents Wednesday to $25.26 on Nasdaq.
• • ///
• • Stock Indexes End Week on High Note
• • Stocks rocketed at the end of the week, lifting blue-chip indexes to their highest levels in almost four years, as investors reacted to job growth data that were solid enough to signal economic strength but not so robust as to stoke inflation fears.
• • For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.9% to 10,940.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index also rose 0.9%, to 1,222.12, and Nasdaq rose 0.3% to 2,070.61.
• • Small stocks took part in the broad advance, as the Russell 2,000 index neared its all-time peak reached in late December. And the Dow Jones transportation average hit a record high.
• • In Friday's bond trading, yields plunged as inflation jitters eased. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to 4.31% from 4.38% on Thursday.
• • New MS Drug Pulled After Patient Dies
• • The makers of a promising new drug for multiple sclerosis abruptly pulled it off the market after one patient died of a rare central nervous system disorder.
• • Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan Corp. described the withdrawal of Tysabri as a "suspension" and said they would try to get the drug back on the market.
• • The Food and Drug Administration said it continued to believe that the drug "offers great hope to MS patients."
• • Biogen and Elan said they were in the process of wrapping up a two-year clinical study last month when they learned that a patient had developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, a condition caused by a virus that destroys the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers.
• • Shares of Biogen Idec and Elan tumbled.
• • Federated to Buy Rival May for $11 Billion
• • Ending weeks of speculation, Federated Department Stores Inc. agreed to buy May Department Stores Co. for $11 billion.
• • The parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's, sources said, would pay $36 a share to add an assortment of stores, including those of Robinsons-May -- a name that might disappear.
• • The marriage of Federated and May would be felt by malls, clothing makers and media outlets that carry their advertising. The effects would be significant in Southern California, where 28 malls are anchored by stores owned by both Federated and May and where vendors sew clothes for both chains. The deal would create a company with nearly 1,000 locations and annual revenue of $30 billion.
• • Martha Stewart Heads Home From Prison
• • Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart was released from a federal women's prison in Alderson, W.Va., after serving a five-month sentence for lying to regulators about a 2001 stock sale.
• • Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., was hit hard as Stewart endured a trial and criminal conviction last year. It lost more than $60 million in 2004 as circulation and ad revenue sank at Stewart's namesake magazine. It has notified Wall Street that first-quarter 2005 numbers will be poor. But shares have risen 17% this year.
• • Stewart will be under house arrest for five months at her estate in Bedford, N.Y.
• • "I see tremendous opportunity in front of us," Susan Lyne, chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, said in a conference call with analysts.
• • ChoicePoint Had Earlier Breach of Database
• • Two scammers penetrated ChoicePoint Inc.'s vast online database of personal records five years ago in an operation similar to a more recent case that has triggered a national furor over privacy, court records show.
• • The Nigerian-born fraud artists were arrested in Los Angeles in 2002 by federal officials who charged that the pair had used ChoicePoint to gain access to confidential information about at least 7,000 people and possibly many more, resulting in at least $1 million in losses.
• • That security breach is similar to the case in which a North Hollywood man, also a Nigerian native, pleaded no contest last month to felony identity theft. He had obtained as many as 145,000 ChoicePoint records.
• • The company said federal regulators were investigating how the identity theft accessed records and why two executives sold nearly $17 million of stock before the case became public.
• • U.S. Economy Adds a Net 262,000 Jobs
• • The economy generated 262,000 new jobs in February, one of its best showings of the Bush administration but not enough to make room for all the new job seekers, the government reported. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.4% from 5.2%.
• • "It indicates that times are better for the average American worker," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com.
• • The number of new jobs, in a short month marked by stormy weather on both coasts, was the greatest since October and marked only the fourth time since President Bush took office that the economy gained as many as 250,000 jobs.
• • The average workweek for nonsupervisory personnel, at 33.7 hours, remained unchanged from January. The average weekly earnings of nonsupervisory workers held constant at $535.83 -- a sign, Zandi said, that they still lack negotiating power with their bosses.
• • Chiron Receives OK to Make Flu Vaccine
• • British health authorities cleared the way for Chiron Corp. to resume flu vaccine production, ending a five-month suspension that created temporary shortages in the United States last fall.
• • The factory in Liverpool, England, faces other regulatory hurdles, but analysts on Wall Street said they expected Chiron to provide shots in the United States this year, easing worries about another season of scarcity.
• • Emeryville, Calif.-based Chiron said it started producing vaccine as soon as the suspension ended in Britain.
• • Chief Executive Howard Pien said the company remained focused on resolving outstanding problems at the Liverpool plant. Chiron must provide weekly progress reports to British regulators, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must sign off on plant improvements.
• • Ebbers Says He Knew Little of Accounting
• • Former WorldCom Inc. chief Bernard J. Ebbers took the stand in his own defense and told jurors that he was never informed about the accounting fraud that plunged the telecom giant into its 2002 bankruptcy.
• • Ebbers cast himself as a financial neophyte who delegated all accounting responsibility to Scott D. Sullivan, WorldCom's former finance chief and the government's star witness.
• • "I wasn't advised by Scott Sullivan on anything ever being wrong," Ebbers testified in U.S. District Court in New York.
• • In cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Atty. David Anders sought to show that Ebbers understood basic accounting and was deeply involved in the details of WorldCom's business.
• • Ebbers is charged with fraud and faces at least 30 years in prison if convicted.
• • Oil and Gas Futures Go Even Higher
• • The price of oil raced above $55 a barrel and gasoline hit a record high last week as traders continued to fret about energy supplies despite plentiful U.S. inventories.
• • Oil's latest jump came on top of two weeks of increases, which have already reached the pump. Los Angeles motorists have seen the average price of self-serve regular gasoline climb 4 cents in the last week to $2.236 a gallon, AAA reported. Analysts warn that more increases are coming.
• • The price of oil settled at $53.78 on Friday in New York.
• • Oil and fuel markets are being driven by the underlying fear that supplies won't be sufficient to satisfy the world's voracious energy appetite.
• • ChevronTexaco May Be in Pursuit of Unocal
• • Oil giant ChevronTexaco Corp. reportedly is considering a takeover of Unocal Corp.
• • El Segundo-based Unocal, the eighth-largest domestic oil company, long has been considered a buyout target. But speculation has intensified because big energy firms are cash-rich and eager to buy petroleum and natural gas reserves to buttress output.
• • San Ramon, Calif.-based ChevronTexaco is considering a bid to buy Unocal, but it was unknown whether a formal offer would materialize, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified sources.
• • Representatives of Unocal and ChevronTexaco declined to comment. Even so, Unocal's stock surged as investors bet that a deal is coming.
• • Florida Sues Tenet Over Medicare Billing
• • Florida's attorney general filed a lawsuit accusing hospital chain Tenet Healthcare Corp. of scheming to obtain more than $1 billion in improper payments from a Medicare fund.
• • The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Miami, alleges that the company inflated charges at its 15 Florida facilities from 2000 to 2003 to squeeze more money than it was due from the fund.
• • Tenet's actions prevented public hospitals from receiving millions of dollars in payments, the suit claims.
• • Tenet General Counsel E. Peter Urbanowicz called the allegations unwarranted. He said the company was surprised the suit was brought more than two years after it voluntarily dropped its aggressive outlier pricing strategy and adopted "stringent new policies."
• • ///

• • ------------------------------------------------------------------------


Center Page / Feature

Top Stories To Start The Week With:


Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.'s Net Income Soars on DVD Sales

• •
 Rupert Murdoch, during a conference call with investors, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said he expected to reach an agreement within nine months that would reduce Liberty Media Corp.'s 18% voting stake to a level less threatening to his family's control. Murdoch and his family own about 30% of News Corp.
• •
 "We haven't had any substantial talks yet," Murdoch said.
• •
 The company's cable channels also boost profit despite wider operating losses at its Fox television network.
• •
 Despite the poor performance of its Fox television network last fall, News Corp.'s quarterly profit rose 80% on strong DVD sales and continuing strength of cable channels such as Fox News Channel.
• •
 The company reported Wednesday that its net income rose to $386 million during its fiscal second quarter, which ended Dec. 31, or 13 cents a share -- up from $215 million, or 8 cents, in the same period a year ago. Revenue was up 18% to $6.56 billion.
• •
 The company projected that operating profit for fiscal 2005 would increase by as much as 20%, up from a previous growth forecast that was in the mid- to high teens.
• •
 News Corp.'s biggest weaknesses during the quarter were the Fox television network and Sky Italia, its Italian satellite TV service. Operating losses at Sky Italia rose to $105 million, from $104 million a year earlier.
• •
 At the Fox TV network, operating losses widened by $26 million to $153 million for the quarter, as programming costs increased, prime-time ratings fell and local advertising sales at its TV stations were weak. News Corp. executives blamed the network's continuing problem on disruption of its fall prime-time launch caused by its airing of professional baseball games.
• •
 Yet News Corp. President Peter Chernin predicted that Fox would end the season in a battle with CBS for first place in the ratings for young adults because of the continued dominance of returning shows such as "American Idol" and "24," and the promise of new programs such as "House."
• •
 On a brighter note, News Corp.'s film division was the quarter's star performer. Home video sales doubled in the period to $1.2 billion from a year earlier, giving News Corp. the highest profit margins in the film business, at 20%, analysts said.
• •
 Twentieth Century Fox Television posted strong DVD sales for "The Simpsons," "24" and "Family Guy," along with various library titles.
• •
 A strong roster of summer releases, such as "The Day After Tomorrow," as well as the DVD sales of catalog and TV titles and the "Star Wars" trilogy, led to a year-end payday in home video, Chernin said.
• •
 He said the margins could be sustained because of the studio's "focus on profitability over market share," and its success with lower-budget titles such as "Sideways," which was recently nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture.
• •
 Cable programming also contributed to News Corp.'s strong quarter. Operating profit at the unit, which includes the FX, Fox News and National Geographic channels, rose 46% to $227 million.
• •
 News Corp. shares rose 5 cents to $17.67 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Powell to Resign as FCC Chairman / 0505e
Verizon Relies OnWireless For Profits / 0505d
Is Google Going Into theWeb Browser Business, ala Explorer? / 0505b
Mark Soval of VRA TelePlay Pictures says the Yahoo Move to Hollywood is a must. / 0505c
Copyright Protection / The U.S. is a party to international treaties that prohibit copyright renewal requirements.
• •
YES90 / "Let a Thousand Googles Bloom," LATimes Commentary, Jan 12 2005: Lawrence Lessig may be right that requiring periodic copyright renewal would make it easier to determine what works are protected, but he ignores one major reason we eliminated copyright renewals in the first place.
• •
The U.S. is a party to international treaties that prohibit copyright renewal requirements. We agreed to these treaties and eliminated our copyright renewal requirement after suffering many years of uncertain protection of American works in foreign countries.
• •
At a time when the export of intellectual property is a significant portion of our economy, the U.S. needs to exercise caution before abrogating treaties that protect the works of its authors.


ByLines: Editors Note

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