Oh, the irony! What else would you call it when Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald's UK, lashes out at video games as a major cause of childhood obesity? But that's exactly what he did, while also admitting to The Times that the food and drinks industry, individuals, and the Government all share in the responsibility (fair enough). Interestingly, Easterbrook specifically called out computer games, but made no mention of Happy Meals or, more recently, Mighty Kids Meals. Go figure.
TigerDirect Becomes CompUSA
A month ago we reported CompUSA's plan to close up shop and sell off some of the remaining 103 stores. Speculation followed that TigerDirect might be interested in purchasing some of the outlets, and that plan has now become official. Systemax, the parent company of TigerDirect, will acquire 16 CompUSA locations. In addition, Systemax will also take over CompUSA's trademarks and the CompUSA.com website. Looking to capitalize on the name recognition, all existing TigerDirect stores will now be called CompUSA.
FCC to Investigate Comcast
Still peeved over Comcast's SNAFU with BitTorrent? The FCC hears you, and announced during a panel discussion at CES that they plan to investigate whether or not Comcast is improperly interfering with BitTorrent and other file sharing traffic. The news came as music to free press general counsel Marvin Ammori's ears, who stated "the FCC must stop these would-be gatekeepers and fine companies that censor the free flow of information." We'll see whether or not the FCC agrees.
Computer Sabotage Earns Man Record Sentence
Yung-Hsun Lin was convicted today for trying to sabotage his company's servers, which he claimed he did out of fear of losing his job. The consequence of that fear will cost Lin 30 months in prison, the longest ever for this type of crime. In addition, Lin was ordered to pay $81,200 in restitution to Medco Health, his former employer. Lin admitted to modifying computer code and creating a 'logic bomb' design to wipe out servers on Medco's network after learning that Medco was being spun off by Merck & Co., all in an attempt to avoid being laid off. Hindsight's 20/20, eh?
Sony Succombs to DRM-Free Music
Sony BMG, the last holdout among major record labels, will finally start selling DRM-free MP3 music downloads later this month. The new download service called Platinum MusicPass will debut on January 15 in the US, and towards the end of the month in Canada. To download the files, consumers must first purchase a MusicPass card, which will be available at 4,500 retail outlets across the country, including BestBuy and Target. Sony had been the last remaining holdout after Warner agreed to sell DRM-free MP3s at Amazon.com late last month.