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TOP STORIES CONVERGING INTO THE - 10th Week -
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
Reverses Parts of Patent Ruling Against
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
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
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.
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.
complicated case revolves around the computer
coding that enables a variety of software
applications to work seamlessly with Web
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.
and the university filed for their patent in 1994,
a year before Microsoft's Internet Explorer hit the
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.
federal judge in Chicago upheld the jury award last
year and ordered Microsoft to pay $45 million in
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
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%
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.
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
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.
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.
and Drug Administration said it continued to
believe that the drug "offers great hope to MS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
will be under house arrest for five months at her
estate in Bedford, N.Y.
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.
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.
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
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%.
indicates that times are better for the average
American worker," said Mark Zandi, chief economist
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
wasn't advised by Scott Sullivan on anything ever
being wrong," Ebbers testified in U.S. District
Court in New York.
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.
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.
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.
price of oil settled at $53.78 on Friday in New
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.
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
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.
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.
actions prevented public hospitals from receiving
millions of dollars in payments, the suit
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
Page / Feature
TIMELINE: Top Stories To
Start The Week With:
RULES IN FAVOR OF WOMAN IN A $6M LANDMARK TOXIC
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.'s Net Income Soars on
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
"We haven't had any
substantial talks yet," Murdoch
The company's cable
channels also boost profit despite wider operating
losses at its Fox television
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
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
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
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
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.
to Resign as FCC
Relies OnWireless For
Google Going Into theWeb Browser Business, ala
Soval of VRA TelePlay Pictures says the Yahoo Move
to Hollywood is a
Protection / The U.S. is a party to
international treaties that prohibit copyright
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
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
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.
Magazine ONLINE / IS YOUR INDUSTRY WEB SITE Ready
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