Daily News Brief: Judge Tells RIAA to Hush


Judge to RIAA: Zip It!

Civil conspiracy ; computer fraud; trespass; deception; extortion; abuse of process. These are all charges the RIAA will have to defend against in Florida, and their usual tactic of making a motion to have counterclaims dismissed proved fruitless. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara denied the RIAA's motion just one day after receiving the request, further telling the RIAA " the Court needs no response from Defendant ." Oh schnapps!

Upgrade Your TV!

Have you been putting off overhauling your home theater? Don't procrastinate too long - according to several independent electronic merchants, flat-panel TVs and home theater systems could see higher prices by year's end . Retailers blame the anticipated hike on higher production costs in China, ongoing weakness in the dollar, and record-high fuel costs. Not all experts agree that this perfect storm will affect the bottom end, but ignore the naysayers if you've been itching for an excuse to upgrade your living room.

Porn Gets Man Suspended

A 57-year-old city bureaucrat in western Japan was suspended from his job and demoted after officals found out he spent much of his workdays browsing X-rated websites rather than working. The scintilating surfing occured almost every day for eight months starting in June '07, spending nearly three hours a day on the websites.

Seagate Hard Drive Withstands Shuttle Explosion

Seven crew members perished when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during reentry on February 1, 2003, but thanks in part to a rugged hard drive built by Seagate, their contribution lives on. Ontrack Data Recovery was able to extract data from the cracked and singed hard drive, which contained information from the CVX-2 (Critical Viscosity of Xenon) experiment, designed to study the way xenon gas flows in microgravity. The results aren't likely to shake up the scientific community, but they do help bring a sense of closure for those affected by the crew members' sacrifice. More here .

Qtrax Secures Free Music Downloads Deal

Qtrax earlier this year announced it had the backing of " all the major labels " to distribute music for free online while deriving revenue from ads, but Warner, UMG, and EMI all said at the time they did not have licensing deals in place. Not it appears the wheels might be in motion. Universal Music Group spokesman Peter Lofrument confirmed Tuesday that an agreement with Qtrax has been reached to allow free, legal downloads of UMG music, though he declined to elaborate or say whether a contract has been signed.

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